Body 2.0 Review: Lark Silent Alarm Clock and Automated Sleep Tracking App

Overall Score: 5 out of 5

Lark is a black, flat, square device that almost looks like a small cellphone battery. It fits snuggly in a fuzzy black adjustable elastic wrist strap when you sleep, and charges in a dock when you’re not wearing it. It uses bluetooth technology to wirelessly communicate with your smartphone. I used Lark (not Lark pro) for three nights. When I first looked at it I thought it might be complicated, but actually after reading the simple instructions, it was pretty intuitive. Once you charge the device, enable bluetooth on your phone, download the lark app, and you’re ready to go.

Lark starts when you set your alarm via the app. I set mine the first night for 7:30 a.m. and put the device in the wrist strap, which is actually comfortable and not that weird at all to sleep in.

The first morning the vibration on my wrist was a little surprising, but by day two it was a great way to wake up — compared to the sound of a regular alarm clock, which I find always sets off a burst of anxiety.

I think the coolest thing was my boyfriend’s reaction. I get up earlier than he does, and my alarm, especially if I snooze once or twice, always screws up his last half hour of sleep. He loved not hearing my alarm go off. LOVED it.

I also found the sleep tracking data to be more interesting and navigable than I assumed it would be. You get an overall qualitative assessment, i.e. you slept “well” or “poorly,” alongside actual metrics like how long you slept, how many minutes it took you to fall asleep, how many times you woke up, and it includes a color-coded graph that shows at which points in the night you were awake or sleeping soundly.

You can go back through your history and compare nights. Like your mom did before schooldays, in the morning the app asks you, “How do you feel today?” Responses like  “so-so,”  “tired,” and “well-rested” are a few options. The app also asks you to compare how you feel with how you actually slept, which I found tends to correlate not with how many hours I slept, but more with how many times I woke up during the night.

As a doctor one feature I especially like — and would ask my patients to use — is the option to tag each night’s sleep with modifiers like “medication,” “alcohol” “caffeine” “stress” and “bathroom” as way of connecting behaviors and other influential factors with how you slept. These things are impossible to remember when you have to summarize months of poor sleep, but by tracking them on a daily basis they can give you, and your doctor, some great starting points for beating insomnia.

Lark costs $99 for the basic device and $159 for Lark Pro.

Score details: 5 out of 5

Editor’s note: This Body 2.0 review is the first of Health 2.0 News’ video review series. Stay tuned for more of this virtual expo, and if you’re going to be in San Francisco Oct. 7, join us for the live interactive expo — Body 2.0 at Terra Gallery is SOMA. 

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