The Must-Have Apps for College Students!

Getting enough sleep every night is difficult for a majority of college students. With all the late night studying, homework and parties it seems students continuously cut their sleep time short. In my first blog post, More Z’s Can Mean More A’s, I talked about how big of a problem getting the right amount of sleep for college students has become and why it needs to change. With the majority of college students having a presence on some type of social media, I used my following blog post, Don’t Sleep on the Truth, to share where reliable information can be found on the websites already used. I also did an entire blog post that pointed out common myths that people believe about sleep to help my readers understand whether the information they are getting is true or not- check it out here. After my readers have learned about the importance of getting quality sleep each night and have learned what is true and not true about the topic, I have decided to suggest some Apps that may help students get a full night’s rest. I have reviewed many different sleep apps and have found three that I would suggest college students try!

Apple’s Bedtime Feature on Clock App

Bedtime tab in the Clock app showing a 10:15 bedtime and a 6:30 wake time.
Bedtime Feature
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Clock App (pre-installed)

The Clock app was created by Apple and comes pre-installed on every iPhone, iPad and iPod, which you cannot delete from any Apple product. After opening the Clock app, in the bottom section there is an option to go to the Bedtime feature. This is where you can set the time you want to go to bed as well as when you need to wake up. The app then sends you a reminder to notify you it is time to go to sleep. You can set the bedtime reminder to go off 1 hour, 45 minutes, 30 minutes, or at bedtime in the app. By setting the time you want to wake up, the Clock app will sound an alarm at that time. In addition, there is an option to turn on do not disturb during bedtime, which dims the lockscreen, silences all calls and alerts, and allows for emergency alerts to still have noise. If you use your phone during the time that you are scheduled to be asleep the time will not count towards hours slept as well as when snoozing the alarm the sleep time will not stop until the alarm has been stopped. The app allows you to set up times you want to go to sleep and wake up every day of the week and then creates a sleep analysis, which is automatically sent to the Health app for users to review. This app could help college students get to sleep when they want to each night by receiving the reminders and also know how much sleep they were able to get by using the sleep analysis feature. This could really help college students know exactly how much sleep they are getting and know when they are not getting enough. The app does seem fairly easy to use and explains every feature well, making it something all college students could understand. The one downside to the app is the sleep analysis data is sent to the health app, but this app cannot be deleted from Apple products either. There are no ratings for this app on the App Store because it is pre-downloaded to all phones and cannot be deleted.

Sleepzy: Sleep Cycle Tracker

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Sleepzy icon as displayed in the App Store

The Sleepzy app is free in the App Store if you allow the ads to pop-up and was designed by app developer company Apalon. It is available to download on iPhones, iPads, iPods and even the Apple watch using iOS 10.0 or later. Sleepzy is used to track sleep patterns (cycles, snoring), analyze the quality of sleep the user is getting and notify the user when a sleep debt is occurring. The app also provides sounds that the user can fall asleep to if they have difficulty getting to sleep and provides weekly stats as percentages to help the user know what they need to work on to get a better full night of sleep. The app uses the microphone on the iPhone to track the movement of the individual to tell whether they are getting quality sleep or not. The app has a 4.2/5 star rating with 6,341 reviews in the App Store with over 50% of the reviews being 5 star ratings from users. This app is really helpful for students that seem to wake up a lot in the middle of the night because it is able to monitor the movement and not use the time spent moving around as time spent sleeping. The most helpful part of the app, in my opinion, is that it tracks your sleep debt and suggests how much sleep you should get each night depending on how much you wake up. This can be a really helpful app for college students to realize how often they may be waking up at night and for them to fully grasp how much sleep debt they are building up. Many college students don’t recognize how much sleep they should be getting each night, and the sleep debt feature will help them comprehend why they may be feeling so tired throughout the day.

Alarmy: Alarm Clock

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Alarmy icon as displayed in the App Store

Alarmy is an app offered in the App Store and was created by the Delight Room Co., Ltd that is free or $7.99 for the Alarmy Pro version. My review is looking at the free version of the app as there are not enough additional features in the Pro version to get me to pay $7.99. Alarmy is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPad touch that have iOS 9.0 or later. This app could be really beneficial to college students that snooze an insane amount of alarms and just can’t seem to get up in the morning. Alarmy allows the user to set an alarm, but in order to turn it off in the morning the user either has to take a specific picture, shake their phone to reach an exercise goal, or solve a math problem. If the user chooses to set up a specific picture, they register a photo to the app and when the alarm goes off they are required to get out of bed and take the same picture to turn off the alarm. The shake exercise requires the individual to set a specific goal, usually 30 seconds, to shake their phone to finally turn off the alarm. For the math problem option, the individual can customize the level of difficulty of the problem and then are required to solve it in order to turn the alarm off. These techniques require the individual to either use physical or mental exertion, which can be very difficult when tired. However, these are effective ways to make sure the person is awake and getting up. Alarmy currently holds a 4.8/5 star rating in the App Store with 50,570 ratings total. Greater than 75% of the ratings for Alarmy are a five-star rating. This app could help college students like me who can’t seem to find the drive to get up in the morning. According to the National Sleep Foundation snoozing alarms has shown to make people more tired and getting up right when the alarm goes off could help students feel more awake throughout the day. Alarmy might be the key to being on time in the morning and not feeling tired in class.

I believe the Bedtime feature on the Clock app, Sleepzy and Alarmy are some of the best apps out there right now that will help students understand their sleep cycle and realize what they need to work on. All of the apps I have suggested are free, so it doesn’t hurt to test one out! You never know which one might change your life.