We've looked extensively at apps designed to improve your sleep patterns, but there's always a lingering question: can the data from the apps be trusted? Writing at open academic site The Conversation, University of Western Australia software expert David Glance suggests the answer is "yes".
Cameron notes that the results from the Zeo — an app used in conjunction with a headband to measure brain electrical activity — are comparable to what can be achieved in professional sleep labs. But he also makes the important point that if you've got a serious sleep issue, self-diagnosis probably isn't going to cut it and apps alone won't be enough:
Although the information may be useful in pointing to a problem, it will probably not allow you to self-diagnose any of the specific sleep disorders, including obstructive sleep apnea . . . But your sleep data will increase self-awareness about how long you are sleeping and how many times you are waking up. With that awareness comes an appreciation of how dramatically factors such as coffee, alcohol, exercise and TV and computer use affect how you sleep. You can then modify your behaviour and get direct feedback on the results, hopefully with an improvement to your sleep.
For more sleep strategies, check out our top 10 tricks for getting better sleep.
Dream appzzz: can the iPhone help you sleep? [The Conversation]