Due to the stressful environment we all live in, sleep and falling asleep have become a real problem. White noise machines are not a novelty anymore and the sound proofing of the sleeping area is already a common practice. But silence or calm, relaxing sounds are not for everyone and many people leave their computer running all night just so they could listen to their favorite playlist.

The method has at least two major flaws: first of all itís an energy waister, and second there is a chance you could wake up just because of the music. This way your sleep becomes superficial and you will end up exhausted and fairly annoyed in the morning. Sleepytime is designed to overcome these issues by allowing you to schedule the music to stop after a period of time.

The Looks

Sleepytime's interface is extremely simple and comprises all its features in only one window. On top you will be able to see the name of the song and the artist currently playing in iTunes and on the bottom you can quickly customize its behavior. In fact Sleepytime is closely connected with iTunes and it makes sense using it only if iTunes is also running. As a result if you are activating the Sleepytime timer it will automatically launch iTunes if itís not already open.

When you decide exactly what you want Sleepytime to do and set off the timer the main window transforms itself, and you will only see the name of the song and the artist, how much time remains until the timer goes off, the action that it will perform, a slider bar for the volume and a simple button for canceling the countdown.

The Works

Sleepytime is very easy to set up and use, considering that all the customization options are available through the main window. Probably the most important feature is the fact that Sleepytime is able to stop the iTunes music playback. The action can be scheduled via an input panel(where a numerical value of maximum three digits must be set) and a drop down menu where the user must specify the meaning of the numerical value: minute, hour or day.

The same rules apply to the Fade feature only that the numerical value can represent only seconds or minutes. If the Fade feature is enabled Sleepytime will automatically reduce iTunes' volume progressively, during the period of time specified, until the timersí countdown is over.

The best part is that the timer does not only stop iTunes but also gives you the possibility to manage your computer's behavior. Make sure that ďmy Mac after iTunes stops playingĒ checkbox is active and use the drop down menu to choose the action you want to be performed: Shut down, Restart, Log out or Sleep. Note that for the first three situations you should keep running on your Mac a limited number of application, or at least the ones that you know for a fact that will not block the process.

For example, during any of those processes, if you have an open TextEdit document that has not been saved, your Mac automatically asks if the data should be saved before closing. If the question is not answered the process will be canceled, leaving your Mac running all night, and Sleepytime cannot do anything about it. Still, if you need your computer running although you are sleeping, you can choose to hide or quit only the Sleepytime application.

Once you decided what you want Sleepytime to do just press the button on the bottom right corner and the timer will start. The user has the possibility to adjust the iTunes volume at anytime, except when the Fade feature takes control. In that particular situation the volume slider becomes inactive and the sound is controlled by Sleepytime.

The Good

Sleepytimesí concept is very simple but efficient and gives you the possibility to transform your Mac into your own white sound machine. The best part is that it can also turn off your computer: it doesnít mean that youíll save the planet but you will make a step towards it.

The Bad

The Sleepytime interface is a bit too simple and the application does not seem to be concerned by the visual aspect: what happens to your display after you go to bed? Of course you can find alternative applications or use the system options that deal with your displaysí appearance but it would be great to have them all in the same place. For example Sleepytime could have a full screen mode, give you the possibility to enable the iTunes visualizers or provide support for creating your own image gallery and so on.

The Truth

Sleepytime is a great application if you are trying to deal with your sleeping problems or music addiction without overcharging your Mac or your electricity bill.

Here are some snapshots of the application in action: