Suraj Kapoor

Director of Product @WayUp, formerly @Lerer Hippeau. Technologist, Optimistic Contrarian.

A Product That Changed My Life

A few products have changed my life but there is one that surpasses the obvious - Facebook, Google, YouTube, etc...

"What is this amazing product then?!"

Sleep Cycle is a mobile app that does two things -

(1) It wakes you in your lightest sleep state

(2) It measures your sleep quality by recording your movements and measuring your deep sleep through the night. Check out the middle pic to see the results it delivers...

Before I sleep, I record any notable activity that could affect my sleep that night - was my day stressful? Did I drink a lot of coffee? Did I use my laptop late into the night?

"Sounds cool, but it changed your LIFE?"

Yes! The last thing I used to do before bedtime was send emails, read articles online, or watch my fave TV shows, all from my laptop.

After a month of using Sleep Cycle several behavioral patterns emerged, including one really important one: I would get less deep sleep when I used my laptop just before bedtime. My sleep quality would be in the 50 - 70% range.

I started to research into the topic and found this TED Talk. There is significant evidence about how bright light, like that from a computer screen, plays with Melatonin levels - a sleep related hormone.

"Oh no! So what did you do?"

I simply stopped using my laptop and iPhone 30 mins before bedtime, I also make sure the lights aren't too bright in my apt. My quality of sleep has increased about 15 - 20%. Waking up is much easier, and my days are much more productive as a result.

"What did you learn from this experience?"

A small habitual change can make a huge difference. I never realized how bad my sleep was because I was used to sleeping poorly. This is a critical takeaway for me that has filtered into other areas of my life.

I've experimented with changing my eating and exercise habits, I've pretty much stopped drinking as a result and go to the gym 6 days a week - early in the mornings too!

I can't directly credit Sleep Cycle for all these changes but, what I love about my experience with it is what I love about technology and incredible products. They seamlessly fit right into your life radically changing the way you live it with little friction.