Article in App of the Week category.
Pillow is a Smart Way to Track Your Sleep
Haven’t you heard? Sleep tracking is all the rage these days. Fitbit has been doing it for some time and Apple is even getting in…
Haven’t you heard? Sleep tracking is all the rage these days. Fitbit has been doing it for some time and Apple is even getting in on the game with its latest watchOS 7 update for Apple Watch. But Apple’s offering is a bit bare-bones. That’s we turn to Pillow t help us measure out nocturnal wellness.
Pillow is a fantastic looking app. It is full of gorgeous purple gradients, subtle overlay animations, handy well-designed charts, and many simple line icons. The dark purple colors are soothing and appropriate for as we head to bed and as we check in with our progress in the morning.
As you launch the app, last night’s results are front-and-center. You see two inset circles, one representing your sleep quality the other your sleep duration. Below that is a graphic representation of your night’s rest. You can see how long you were in bed, how long you were asleep when you woke up, when you were in deep sleep, and when you were in light sleep. All identified by their own perfectly-chosen colors that are vivid and cheerful.
There are a ton of other features to Pillow as well. There are sleep aid sounds, iCloud sync and backup, mood tracking, sleep cycle analysis, and more.
Pillow will automatically track your sleep each night when you wear your Apple Watch which is the easiest, but a manual mode is also available. With manual, you are able to set a smart alarm that will wake you at just the right time in the morning before your alarm is set to go off. When you wake up at your lightest point of sleep, you feel less groggy and are ready to take on the day.
If you opt for the premium version of Pillow, you get personalized insights and recommendations, audio recordings (to monitor things like sleep talking, snoring, or sleep apnea), sleep notes, and various nap modes.
Pillow syncs with the Health app for free, but with premium, Pillow is able to plot your sleep alongside other health metrics for improved insight. See how things like calorie consumption or steps impact your sleep quality. It is this kind of analytical comparison that allows us to make real-life changes to improve our sleep and health.
Apple Watch is also able to detect your heart rate with premium. An overlay of that heart rate is displayed on the graph with the average BPM, the maximum BPM, and minimum BMP.
We’ve used Pillow for years as our preferred sleep tracking app for Apple Watch and iPhone, but it has gotten two big features as part of iOS 14. We now have a new widget as well as tight Siri integration.
Widgets are a new Home Screen feature for iPhone users that allow vast amounts of customizations. The just-released Pillow widget can display your sleep report each and every day so you don’t even have to launch the app. Choose between the small and medium-sized Pillow widgets.
Then we have support for Siri Wind Down and Sleep Shortcuts. Wind Down helps you get ready for bed, by reducing your notifications and letting your mind relax. It also has support for the accompanying Shortcuts. Schedule the Pillow app to open as soon as it detects you’ve woken up, or automatically start a manual tracking whenever Win Down begins.
Pillow is a fascinating app that builds significantly on what Apple is now offering. It has more insights, metrics, and functionality than any other sleep tracking app we’ve seen. It can help you identify sleep issues, can help you improve your sleep, and yield higher productivity for the day. For ages, sleep tracking has been ignored but with new wearables, it is finally getting the focus it deserves. And Pillow is leading the way.
But enough about other people's apps.