We all need a good night’s sleep. But how to get one? Whether you have occasional sleep problems, or a more serious sleep disorder, it can be difficult to know what behavior changes might make the most difference for you.
The SleepCoacher App from Brown University combines smart phone technology with the expert advice of clinicians and sleep experts to monitor participant’s sleep habits and offer personalized advice, or mini experiments to help participants improve their sleep. The app is available as a free download.
In an initial study on the effectiveness of the app and its recommendations among 17 participants over the course of 42 nights, participants alternated between a sleep recommendation and their usual behavior while collecting data on how refreshed they felt when they woke up, among other questions about the quality of their sleep.
Researchers found that the closer a participant stuck to the SleepCoacher’s recommendations, the more their sleep improved. In the 7 cases where participants followed the sleep app recommendations at least 80% of the time, all participants experienced sleep improvements. Of the 18 cases where participants followed the recommendations less than 60% of the time, only 9 experienced improvement.