What is Bio2Real Time for iPhone4?
It is a new kind of clock! Instead of a 12 or 24 hour format, the clock is broken into 16 segments, which align with your sleep cycles. The biological clock does not have the notion of “hour”, instead it has a notion of a “period”, which in case of humans is about 90 minutes long. This is why the Inner dial of the Bio2Real clock does not have numbers, because your body does not understand them! Look for the orange sun sphere to see which circadian clock cycle you are most likely in.
The sleep cycles repeat every single night, so if you get into a predictable pattern, you will fall asleep and wake up at the same times. You will dream at the same times! Don’t have the time for a full 8 hours of sleep? Pick the closest sleep cycle onset and jump in bed! Need to wake up earlier than usual? Advance your awakening by 90 minutes (7:30>6) and go to bed 90 minutes earlier than usual.
What’s on the dial?
The Bio2Real Time translator is composed of 2 parts: A static black background with 2 diagonal green lines
corresponding to the local time. It is marked 3:00 9:00 15:00 and 21:00. The very top of the screen is Noon, while the very bottom is midnight.
The colored circular dial corresponds to your circadian rhythm or biological clock. It is broken into 16 segments of 1.5 hours (90 minutes) each. The segments are colored to represent (clockwise from left to right above) morning, noon, evening and night. Each cycle has a special property, for example the segment encompassing 2AM corresponds to the deepest sleep, while it’s opposite on the dial corresponds to maximum awareness. All organ systems are impacted by the internal clock.
The circular dial starts out upside down and rotates to align the local “Civil Twilight Evening” – the darkness that
comes after sunset with the dial’s sunset point (right). The dial moves only once when the app has started. In the example above the civil twilight for my location is 18:39, so the 18:00 mark on the dial is aligned with 18:39 in real time. This is why the dial is rotated clockwise by 39 minutes. As the Fall progresses, and the days are getting shorter, the dial will keep tilting, aligning it’s 18:00 with the local twilight time. When the day has shortened enough, you will see the green line through the slit in the dial.
[notice]The app requires GPS location to be available in order to align the biological clock. If you denied the Bio2Real clock ability to access the location data, the clock will not work. You can re-enable this from location preferences on your iPhone.[/notice]
The orange sphere is the sun’s current position in the sky. It will slowly rotate and eventually set by crossing the 18:00 mark on the circular dial. This is the only moving component on the app. The sun may be used to estimate time for both the real clock and the biological clock, as it is the very thing that links the two together. As the sun rotates around the dial, so does your body move from one segment of the circadian cycle over to the next.
The black and white icons labeled 6.0, 7.5 and 9 correspond to the times when it’s optimal
to go to sleep to wake up after 6 hours, 7.5 hours and 9 hours. The white icon with an arrow pointing out of bed indicates the best awakening time for your current location, timezone and the day of the year. This is because melatonin secretion stops after this point, and you will not feel groggy anymore!
Extra features screen
If you encounter a bug with the app, I invite you to send me a bug report using built-in bug reporting tool. Please fill out the 4 fields on the provided form, otherwise I would not be able to understand what the bug is.
The app help option brings you to this screen. I invite you to explore the rest of this site, there are a lot of exciting developments going on.
“This product includes software developed by the Bettag Systems and its contributors.” Below the Bettag blog link, you will find detailed astronomical data for the local sunrise, sunset, civil twilight times, moonrise, moonset, moon phase, next full moon, previous full moon. Civil twilight means the time when the sun is about to rise or has just set beyond the horizon. Depending on your location, you may see some spectacular views if you get to a high location on a clear day.
How is Bio2Real clock beneficial?
It lets you fall asleep faster, wake up earlier, have more stamina and see more dreams!
You will not be “stuck” in an incomplete, transitioning sleep cycle for 20-30 minutes before losing consciousness. Human body goes through a series of distinctly different sleep phases during each sleep cycle (more info here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sleep#Timing). The sleep starts with a very light sleep state, then advances towards deep sleep, then coming back for another light sleep phase, culminating in an REM phase when dreams are seen. The cycles repeat over and over throughout the night:
The image above shows a hypnogram, superimposed over a typical night’s activity. The lower the black line, the deeper the sleep. Most of the dreams (orange triangles) are reported during light, REM phase. Your body’s sleep cycles are independent of your usual clock. If you go to sleep at a wrong part in your sleep cycle, you may get “stuck” at the end of one sleep cycle and remain in a semi-awake state for 20-30 minutes, while waiting for sleep to set in. For me, this usually results in thinking about unfinished tasks and making plans (especially when I’m excited about programming), creating anxiety over sleep and discomfort.
For example: if I go to sleep at 12:00Am, while the closest sleep cycle start is at 12:20, I will be laying still until 12:20, then turn around and go to sleep. I could’ve gone to bed at 12:15 and saved myself 15 minutes by doing some light activity, like relaxation or light reading.
The larger the gap between the start of the next sleep cycle and your time in bed, the more time it may take for you to fall asleep.
By entering sleep when your body is ready to start a new sleep cycle, the time to reach deeper, unconscious sleep is reduced. This means less anxiety and more restful sleep!
It helps you wake up refreshed at a consistent time
You got your own alarm clock!
After a certain number of sleep cycles (measured in 90-110 minute intervals) your body would awaken refreshed. The precise number depends from person to person. Some would require 5 cycles(7.5 hours), others 6 cycles(9 hours) At the same time, if you try to force awakening from a deep sleep in the middle of a sleep cycle, your body would resist, feel groggy and lifeless. You will want to hit that snooze button over and over until your body finishes the sleep cycle. This snooze fest usually pushes your awakening by up to 1.5 hours towards the end of the next sleep cycle (from 5 to 6, from 6 to 7, etc)
If I go to sleep at the start of a sleep cycle at 12:30Am and wake up at 8:00, I will have 5 complete sleep cycles of 90 minutes each. I will be ready to wake up at 8:00, refreshed.
Lets say I trust my alarm clock to wake me up at 8:45. In this case, I would be awakened slightly at 8:00, at the end of the 5th sleep cycle. I may record my dreams, but since there are 45 more minutes of sleep allocated, I will go back to sleep. My body would prepare for another sleep cycle, and waking up after 45 minutes would be harder, I will feel like continuing sleeping until the clock hits 9:30, when my 6th sleep cycle would be over.
It is much more effective to let your body wake up at the end of a sleep cycle, then get out of bed. This will help you wake up earlier than usual and eliminates the need to drink coffee in the morning.
It helps you remember dreams.
While it may not sound like much to some of you, looking at the 16 segment clock you may realize just how much of your life you spend sleeping! Sleep cycles 2,3, 4 and 5 all offer you the ability to have long and colorful dreams, which are really fun and do not take time away from your day.
By aligning your bedtime with the start of a sleep cycle, you would predictably dream at regular intervals. Sleep cycles 3,4,5 and 6 would all have dreams that you may be able to recall. As you dream more consistently, it becomes easier to recall dreams. The more dreams you recall, the easier it gets to differentiate between dreaming and waking memories.
After a while, by keeping a dream journal, you may become ready to start dreaming lucidly! For more information, check out this lucid dreaming forum
How it works
Your body has a very sensitive internal clock, sometimes referred to as “biological clock” or circadian cycle. All life forms from simple bacteria to humans exhibit some for of this cycle. The clock is “entrained” – it follows external stimuli, such as light.
Human circadian cycle is entrained to the sunrise and sunset times. Hormone Melatonin controls the internal clock during the night. At night, you sleep in 90-110 minute sleep cycles. These cycles start about 2 cycles after sunset and continue throughout the night over to the morning.
I’m not a physician and cannot give any medical advice or respond to any adverse reactions associated with the use of this app. What I can tell you is that I found that Melatonin supplements help me fall asleep faster, when used correctly. The Melatonin supplement that I would take would be timed at 20 minute prior to the sleep cycle start. So to fall asleep at 12:30, I would take 3mg of Melatonin at 12:10 with a full glass of water before brushing my teeth. By the time it is 12:30 and the next sleep cycle starts, I will be feeling drowsy and would slip into sleep rapidly.