As the SleepQ app for iPhone gains popularity, I had a chance to communicate with one user who took a different approach to his sleep. And he discovered a way to use the app to help get back to sleep in the middle of the night easier. Difficulty getting back to sleep is a very common issue, mostly as we age.
Clint, a life-long insomnia sufferer, first started by doing a couple evening sleep training sessions with the SleepQ app. He quickly learned that in fact he could “let go” and fall asleep, in a reasonable amount of time. And with the awareness feedback component to the app, he seemed to really learn what falling asleep felt like. He seemed to quickly become less worried and more confident in his sleep. Success!
Through our communication, Clint told me he was also using the app to get back to sleep in the middle of the night. He said the periodic monotones disrupted the “racing mind” he normally experienced while trying to get back to sleep. So upon returning to bed after a simple bathroom break, he would put his earbud headphones in and start the app – but in the Nap Mode, not the Training Mode. This is interesting. The Nap Mode was designed to allow users to set their own daytime nap parameters, with one of the settings being total length of the nap. I had a max setting of three hours programmed when designed the app, thinking this would allow someone who was simply sleep deprived (due to unusual circumstances, not due to ongoing insomnia) to take a long daytime recovery nap, up to three hours.
In the Nap Mode, the SleepQ app emits the periodic monotone until the user stops responding with a slight shake of the phone (indicating sleep has started). Clint discovered that if he simply turned off the vibrate setting on his iPhone, and set the nap time to three hours, he could fall back to sleep easier with the monotones. Again, he indicated that the monotones were very effective at disrupting a very common problem for people: intruding negative thoughts and ruminations (i.e., “racing mind”). In the nap mode, the user also is informed how long it took to fall asleep/back to sleep, so Clint was able to learn that in fact his ability to get back to sleep was improving. More success!
Clint also let me know that over the years, he had spent literally thousands of dollars on his sleep – prescriptions, doctor visits, herbs, teas, pillows, etc. etc. This is not an unfamiliar story – I have heard this from other users of the SleepQ app. Insomnia and sleep loss are very impactful. I try not to dwell on the deleterious effects and daytime sequela of someone’s chronic insomnia. Questions become rhetorical. I prefer to focus on the remedy.
It is a must to talk with your doctor about your sleep, as there are some sleeping conditions (e.g., sleep apnea) that are very serious and must be treated medically. But if you have exhausted your options or are becoming dependent on sleeping medication (or alcohol) for sleep, the SleepQ app for iPhone is definitely worth a look. And as was shown, there may be some application twists yet to be discovered!
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