As students, our lives are jammed packed, back-to-back things going on every single day that sleep is sometime compromised to finish was needs to be done. When we finally do call it a day, we "crash". It is hard to believe that while we are sleeping our brains are busy at work.
It was not until 1951, when Nathaniel Kleitman changed how we think about sleep and dreaming. Prior, it was believed that our brains had a switch that turned on when we were awake and off while we snoozed. Today, we know there are five stages of sleep. The following chart describes each phase.
With information at our fingertips today, I looked into how one could track their own sleep. Not surprising, there is an App for that. iTunes sells and app called Sleep Cycle alarm clock. It retails for $0.99. It is an alarm clock that analyzes your sleep patterns and wakes you in the lightest sleep phase - a natural way to wake up where you feel rested and relaxed.
I tried this application for the past week. I must say I liked it. I felt it was accurate. All I did was put it on the side of my bed and it sensed movement and from that determined what stage of sleep I was in. It sounded too good to be true. In reading the reviews, other users of this application felt the same way. So, last night I left it on the table in another room. My phone must be a great mind reader, because it read similar to previous nights and I was nowhere near it. Clearly the technology is out there to measure the stages of sleep, but this application was not the best option in doing so.