We've heard when it's time for bed, it's lights out--and that includes electronics. That is until now.
"There are a variety of applications you can get for your smart phone. The majority of them are designed to help you get to sleep," says Dr. Ted Dyer, director of Hendrick Sleep Disorders Center.
Dr. Dyer says there are some apps designed to track how deep of shuteye you're actually getting.
"It's an attempt to use the motion detector of the smart phone to measure the activity of someone in their sleep," Dr. Dyer explains.
Knowing which sleep stage you're in can also help determine, say, how much coffee you'll need once you rise and shine.
"If you wake up in stage three, which is the deepest sleep, you may have a hard time getting oriented, getting your brain going--it's a 'need a cup of coffee' type of situation," Dr. Dyer tells us.
The app can be a useful tool to measure your zzz's. But Dr. Dyer says, to feel your best, stick to his rule of thumb.
"Be real regular when you go to sleep and when you get up, even on your non-working days."
And as for how long you should snooze?
"It is very rare that someone would need less than seven and a half hours of sleep," Dr. Dyer explains.
Whether you rely on an app, or your internal clock to monitor your sleep cycle--as long as you're getting enough shuteye, Dr. Dyer says, you're good to go.
For more information on sleep disorders or sleep apps, click here.