how do I love thee, motorola droid? your awesomeness makes me ignore even my fear of verizon’s evil minions and their schemes to monetize your deliciousness. so what applications have I unearthed to frost my lovely crumpet?
in due time I will tell you of fair xeeku, a twitter client to rule them all. of trusty evernote and toodledo and the others who strive to boost my productivity. today, my hymn of praise is directed to those serving baser needs. fret not, gentle maids. I speak only of tending the sandman’s demesne. artful applications to draw morpheus near at night and sweetly bid him farewell as the sun blesses the glittering dew.
yep, sleep aids. these ain’t your dorm room clock radios, baby.
imagine drifting off to the sound of gentle rainfall and distant thunder. then waking the next morning to a summons timed for when you are closest to wakefulness. “how can this miracle be?” you may ask. it’s more than science, dear reader – it is the humble alarm clock as an art form.
lightning bug (1908media)
our evening companion is the lightning bug. the app offers a lovely selection of nocturnal themes – a palm-fringed beach w surf and seabirds, some kind of monastery with doleful bell and for those who never sleep, a pre 9/11 new york skyline with a penthouse soundtrack of car horns, sirens and gunshots. kidding, about the gunshots at least.
across all the themes is an optional rainstorm with mellow thunder and lightning flashes (user can set the color of the lightning – talk about playing god). other settings control shutoff time for the blissed-out audio and screen display. lightning bug offers a configurable alarm, too, but I found something better…
gentle alarm (mobitobi)
presenting gentle alarm: here are the geeky details:
While you sleep, you drift forth and back between phases of deep sleep and light sleep during which you dream (also REM phase, rapid eye movement). The key to a refreshing sleep is to wake up during a light sleep phase. If your alarm clock starts blaring while you are in deep sleep, you will feel groggy no matter how much sleep you got that night.
So how do you make sure you wake up during light sleep? During the last few hours of sleep, a sleep cycle takes about one hour, so light sleep and deep sleep alternate every 30 minutes or so. Let’s say you need to wake up at 7am and you set your alarm to that time. Now we program an additional pre-alarm at 6:30am at a much lower volume.
This is so simple that we are almost embarrassed to write about it. But the effect is huge: If, at 6:30am you are in deep sleep, you will not hear this pre-alarm. At 7am, you will then wake up to the regular alarm and probably even be in light sleep at that time. However, if you are lightly sleeping at 6:30am, you will wake up to the pre-alarm, refreshed even though you got half an hour less sleep than your regular alarm time would have allowed (sleeping that extra half hour would have put you back into deep sleep).
does it work? it did this morning. I’ll keep you posted going forward.
both apps are available in the droid market. lightning bug is free; the trial version of gentle alarm is fully functional, but to get it to work on wednesdays you’ll need to throw mobitobi one shiny euro.
what are your favorite app?
enabler credit @alicehanes