Have you ever searched for a ringing phone, feeling your anxiety increase with each ring? Or experienced a mini heart attack when you thought you lost your phone only to discover it was in a different pocket? Most older generations would criticize you for being so obsessed with technology, but recent studies have shown that ‘iPhone separation anxiety’ is a real disorder – and it is plaguing the younger generations of today’s society.
The average person spends about two hours and fifty-seven minutes on a smartphone or tablet every day. Most of us get stressed out if we misplace our phone, are constantly checking for notifications, and even feel ‘phantom vibrations’ – a sensation that we have received a notification when we really have not. Most people would dismiss this anxiety as an unhealthy obsession with technology, but research has shown that these feelings are legitimate and smartphone separation can have serious psychological and physiological effects.
Ahh the Apple iPhone: sleek, sexy, and successful–monopolizing the mobile phone industry since its 2007 release. What is it about the iPhone in particular that sets it apart from its competitors, allowing it garner over 60 million followers worldwide? According to “neuromarketer” and consumer advocate Martin Lindstrom, iPhone users should not be considered addicts but rather amorous devotees who literally “love” their device. Now, I understand the dependency characteristic of an avid cell-phone user, whether Apple or otherwise. But as a neuro-nerd, I am obligated to ask: “Where’s the science behind this?” More
Maciek Drejak Labs released an app earlier this year for the iPhone (which can also be used on the iPod Touch) called “Sleep Cycle.” Recently, Lifehacker rated this App the best alarm clock application function for smart phones for its weekly Hive Five feature.
The way this application works is by monitoring your body movements during sleep. The user is instructed to place the phone face side down between the fitted sheet and the mattress. Over the course of the night, the program registers high amounts activity (movement) as “awake,” moderate activity as “Dreaming” (REM sleep), and little to no activity as “Deep Sleep” (slow wave sleep). For the first two or three nights of use, Sleep Cycle familiarizes itself with the user’s movement patterns by creating a graph of the user’s sleep cycle.
At the peaks of the graph, the user is most likely at his or her lightest sleep. The user sets an alarm for what time he or she would like to wake up. Within the last thirty minutes of a night’s sleep, Sleep Cycle will analyze the peaks of the graph and will attempt to wake the user gently when he or she is exhibiting a peak of high activity (ie: experiencing light sleep).
Customer reviews express some mixed results with this application, but overall, it appears that many people have positive experiences with Sleep Cycle. Some users report that when the application works properly, they feel wonderful when they wake up rather than being ripped out of deep sleep or a dream when the alarm goes off.
Although this application is only useful for iPhone and iPod Touch users, it is fairly inexpensive at 0.99 cents, and it has the potential to help extremely deep sleepers.