AutoWake is Pretty Slick

I am a Cortexan (listener of the Cortex podcast, with CGP Grey and Myke Hurley) and was listening to the latest episode on my way to a event yesterday evening. During the episode, Grey mentioned AutoWake, an alarm app made for the Apple Watch that is geared to wake you during your lightest sleep within a window of time, rather than at a fixed time; this is supposed to keep you from being groggy if you are awakened during a deep part of sleep.

A Little Context

I have been using AutoSleep (from the maker of AutoWake) since January 2018 and it is a great app for tracking your sleep. I like correlating my sleep with how I feel throughout the day and what I did the previous day to potentially impact my sleep. I have a fairly routine sleeping pattern and tend to wake up between 05:00-05:30; as such, I have used the alarm app on the Apple Watch as a backstop and set it for 05:45, in case I oversleep. I do not really need to wake up that early, but I have incorporated it into my morning routine and I feel that it helps me to be more productive. As such, I normally wake up before the alarm ever goes off and I generally am not disturbed from my sleep.

I bought the app as soon as I could next use my phone and started getting it setup. When I got back in the car and the podcast resumed, they were still in the middle of discussing the app.

After one morning, I am pretty happy with the outcome. I set the app to alarm at 05:45, just as before, with a 30 minute window and instructed to wake me during my lightest sleep:

20181221_135458753_iOS

The net effect is that it will wake me as soon as it determines I am lightly sleeping between 05:15-05:45 by measuring my heart rate. It simply taps me on the wrist and I tell it that I am awake.

You must add the complication to your watch face that is active while you are sleeping. I use the Modular face and replaced the heart rate with AutoWake:

20181219_135014000_iOS

One thing that was disturbing is that the app talks to you as when you interact with it. I do not need or want this as it can disturb others, which is one of the benefits of having the watch simply tap you on the wrist.

The app is fairly customizable as you can have different alarms for each day of the week, but it would be nice to have options of weekdays/weekend, or every day, as I like to maintain my sleeping schedule every day:

20181221_135107000_iOS

Overall, two thumbs up.

EDIT: The post originally have the Auto Schedule configured as below, which is how it appears by default if you only select the Alarm time.  It ends up not setting an alarm.  Configuring it with updated setting, as above, sets things accordingly.

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