Sleep Cycle can help you awaken earlier, to write

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For most of my life, I was a night owl. I HATED going to bed and would force myself there at 1 or 2 am and perhaps take an hour to fall asleep. The next day, of course, I had a hard time waking up, dragging out of bed at 8 am or later.

Although my husband needed more sleep than I did, he was much more of a morning person. And when we had triplets, this dichotomy saved us. I would stay up most of the night feeding babies and he would take on the morning shift while I slept.

Flash forward 15 years and mysteriously, with no effort on my part, I turned into a morning lark on steroids. I started waking at 5 am or even earlier, unable to get back to sleep. Desperate, because I couldn’t get even nearly the amount of sleep I needed, I started seeing a sleep doctor who helped restore some sanity to my life.

Now, I’m still a morning lark but the hours are reasonable. I got to bed at 11 pm and get up around 6 am. Why am I telling you all this? Because, for many of us, early morning is the best possible time to write. We’re newly energized. Children aren’t needing attention. Phones aren’t ringing. When I produced my book, I got up at 5:45 am every weekday and wrote for one hour. This allowed me to finish a first draft in six months.

The problem? My radio alarm woke my husband earlier than he liked. If only I’d known about Sleep Cycle! Buy this 99 cent app for the iPhone and place the phone on your bed, next to your pillow. The next morning,  it will awaken you with a quiet, musical sound of your choosing. (I picked the tune called “sunrise.”) Furthermore, the software will be able to judge your sleep cycle and if it’s going to make your body feel better, will awake you up to 30 minutes before your set alarm time. This is because the app is able to track your sleep cycle.

When sleeping, we all go through cycles that last for about 90 minutes. These cycles range from deep sleep to shallow sleep and dreaming (the range is shown in the illustration above.) My sleep doctor is skeptical that a 99 cent app can accurately judge sleep cycles but I told him I felt better when it woke me earlier than intended (during a shallower phase of sleep) and I was also happy that I can now wake up without disturbing my husband. He agreed that made sense.

If you want to write first thing in the morning and need an easier way to wake up, without disturbing a partner, I suggest you try Sleep Cycle. For 99 cents, you can’t go wrong. (I am not an affiliate and make no money if you decide to buy this.)

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