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MotionX Sleep App Review

Pedometer - Activity Monitor - Sleep Monitor App

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating

By

Updated May 13, 2013

MotionX Sleep - Sleep Chart

MotionX Sleep - Sleep Chart

Screen Capture by Wendy Bumgardner
Don't let the name fool you -- MotionX Sleep does far more than track your sleep patterns. It is an excellent iPhone app for tracking total daily steps, recording specific walking workouts, and giving you inactivity alerts to keep you moving throughout the day. And, yes, it tracks your sleep quality and can wake you up at the best time of the morning, too!

Getting Enough Sleep?

Good quality sleep is essential for health, fitness and weight management. This app allows you to put your iPhone in your bed, or attach it to your arm, and record the length and quality of your sleep. It detects small motions to produce a chart that I found to be very accurate. You can see how long it took you to get to sleep, the time spent awake, in light sleep and in deep sleep.

I haven't needed an alarm to wake up in many years, but if you do, it has a Smart Sleep Cycle Alarm which wakes you up at the optimal time in your sleep cycle within your chosen wake-up time window. You can wake up to a song in your playlist or built-in sounds.

I had some bobbles in thinking I had started the sleep logging but didn't. That's user error. I usually put the phone on the bed near my pillow. The MotionX graphs had much more detail than my Fitbit sleep recording, although both captured about the same amount of deep sleep, bathroom trips, etc.

This app might even save your life if you discover you are not getting much deep sleep due to sleep apnea or another sleep disorder. It can be an indicator that you need to get checked out by a health professional.

The app also has a nice Almanac feature telling you time of sunrise, sunset, moonrise and moonset.

Record Your Total Daily Steps and Get Inactivity Alerts

MotionX Sleep - Daily Step Tracker

MotionX Sleep - Daily Step Tracker

Screen Shot by Wendy Bumgardner
MotionX Sleep turns your iPhone into an all-day pedometer and activity monitor. You can set a daily step goal and you can set alerts to chime when you have been inactive for a set period. For example, I have it set for 7000 steps per day and to alert me after 30 minutes of inactivity. This reminds me to stand up and move around a bit to combat the health risks of sitting too long.

The all-day steps operates in the background if you have iOS5, although it consumes more power. You can set the inactive shutdown time period to conserve battery life.

The Daily Steps screen shows your total active time, idle time, aerobic steps, percent of your daily goal, steps and calories burned. It's a nice graphical presentation that can be useful in spotting long periods of inactivity.

The drawback over using a traditional pedometer is that you, like me, might not wear your iPhone all day. Yes, it works if your phone is in a pack or purse, but I don't carry one of those all day, either. It's a darn clunky and heavy pedometer for all-day steps.

But as an inactivity alert and back-up all-day pedometer, it works great and, at 99 cents, is practically free compared to the Gruve Activity Monitor which costs 150 times more.

Log Your Walking Workouts

You can record your walking workouts and get real-time voice coaching with your steps, time and calories burned. On the Record Walk dashboard, you can see a continual readout of your steps, calories, distance, and average cadence (steps per minute). With iOS5, it works in the background so you can run other apps, listen to music, etc. without interrupting the app.

The app doesn't access GPS functions, so you don't get a map of your walk or GPS speed and distance. However, if you want those, you can run a GPS-enabled app at the same time.

You can calibrate your distance measurement. If you want a more accurate distance measurement, use the app on a measured course such as a track or a path that has mile markers. It is very easy to use the calibration function at the end of any workout. I came to trust this much more than the GPS distance recorded on the same walks by other apps. The GPS distance was affected by terrain, while my walking stride varied far less.

I like having the voice readout of my data, which worked well either with or without earphones.

Sharing

You can share your daily steps, recorded walks, or sleep with posts to Facebook, Twitter, or via email.

Bottom Line on MotionX Sleep

MotionX Sleep - Logging a Walk

MotionX Sleep - Logging a Walk

Screen Shot by Wendy Bumgardner
This is a great app for increasing your daily activity and monitoring your sleep quality. The inactivity alerts alone had me sold, but I also love the walking workout logging. If you want an un-pedometer that does everything you want from a pedometer, get this app.
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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