Looking for an app that does more than just track your sleep or play rainforest sounds?

Meet Sleep On Cue.

Developed by a Certified Clinical Sleep Educator and Licensed Sleep Technologist of 25+ years, the Sleep On Cue iPhone app gives you an active way to work on your sleep without pills or gimmicks.

People with insomnia often don’t perceive becoming sleepy. The Sleep on Cue app is a proven way to get better at this perception, which leads to effortless sleep. An hour or so around bedtime following any rough night of sleep is all it takes to restore confidence in your sleep!

Use the Sleep On Cue iPhone app around bedtime, following any rough night of sleep. Plug in your earbud headphones, lie down in bed with your phone gently held in your hand. You will hear a series of soft tones. A slight shake of the phone after each faint tone informs the Sleep On Cue app that you are still awake. When you stop responding, the app knows you have fallen asleep. Following the protocol of Intensive Sleep Retraining (ISR), your phone vibrates to get you up.

Next, the app asks if you THINK you fell asleep, then tells you if you are correct or not. Over time, this process can greatly improve your ability and awareness of falling asleep. The app then prompts you to leave the bed for a couple of minutes, return, and repeat. Sleep training can help you reduce your need for sleeping pills or alcohol for sleep (with guidance from your doctor). And after each sleep training session, a summary graph shows your progress during the sleep trials. This graph can be saved and shared (e.g., with your doctor).

Based on Australian sleep research of Intensive Sleep Retraining, this app is totally different than all other sleep apps.

Sleep research from Australia in 2007 and 2012 found that a behavioral technique called “Intensive Sleep Retraining” (ISR) can help people with chronic insomnia just as well as and much faster than traditional CBTi sleep retraining methods. In the studies, research subjects with chronic insomnia were partially sleep deprived for a night, then asked to try to fall asleep every 30 min in a laboratory, starting and ending at their normal bedtime (all night – all day). For each sleep trial, the subjects were given 20 minutes to fall asleep, then woken after a few minutes. Subjects were asked if they think they fell asleep, then told whether or not they fell asleep. This procedure was repeated every 30 minutes, all night and all the next day.

ISR gave a person with chronic insomnia the experience of falling asleep over and over, essentially allowing them to “learn” how to fall asleep by practicing falling asleep, repeatedly, in a relatively short period of time. The ISR technique worked through behavioral conditioning (remember Pavlov’s dogs from psychology class?).

Ability, confidence, and awareness in sleep improved dramatically, leading about half of the “poor” sleepers to rate themselves as “good” sleepers after the 24 hour process. This improvement was the same degree of improvement as seen with the stimulus control group, and improvement was even better and longer lasting when ISR was combined with stimulus control instructions. Clearly ISR was the answer to the issue of the delay in sleep improvement with CBTi.

In the ISR research, sleep was measured with electrodes attached to the head (EEG), the industry standard way to measure sleep. However, the ISR procedure required a laboratory setting, was too expensive, and was too impractical to use on a large scale.

This is the advantage of Sleep On Cue!

At home, certain behavioral methods (without electrode wires on the head) can be used to determine when sleep has occurred. For example, when we start to fall asleep, we relax and lose muscle tone, causing us to drop the book we’re reading. Some famous historical figures used this phenomenon to wake them after short naps (e.g., Thomas Edison). An even more accurate and reliable indicator of the start of sleep is when we become unresponsive to auditory tones. We have all had the experience of talking or reading to someone very sleepy who, after a little while, no longer replies back to us. This natural phenomenon is at the core of the Sleep On Cue app: faint tones are emitted, and the user gives their smartphone a slight shake. Once shakes are no longer detected following the tones, sleep has begun, and following the ISR procedure, the user is woken (the app vibrates the phone). The user is asked: “Do you think you fell asleep?”, and then given the correct answer. Repeating this process is how to do ISR at home.

But the Sleep On Cue app goes much further than the ISR research, incorporating auto-adjusting sleep training time intervals for training at just the right intensity, performance feedback to develop better awareness of sleep, and a summary graph to keep track of or share your progress.

And perhaps most importantly, sleep training with the Sleep On Cue app can be done for as little or as long as desired. Most users find improvement with an occasional hour or two of sleep training around bedtime, especially following a poor night of sleep.

Two prominent sleep researchers (Drs. Spielman and Glovinsky)  expressed the need for a home-based method of the powerful ISR procedure. The Sleep On Cue app is this method!

In January 2022, a pilot study determined that Sleep On Cue produced similar outcomes to ISR done in a lab setting. You can read more about this novel study in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine.

Scroll through our App Store reviews and see for yourself: using Sleep On Cue will improve your sleep. Here are a few of our recent reviews:

“I think this app just saved my life. A major breakthrough!”

“I’m SO relieved I don’t have to take sleep aids or pay for a pricey visit to a sleep clinic. This app is a Godsend.”

“Even after one night of using this app, I felt a significant improvement in my confidence in falling asleep. That was a feeling I didn’t know I needed to regain.”

“I had such bad insomnia and literally thought that I must have had totally sleepless nights since the pandemic. The Sleep On Cue app showed me that I actually did fall asleep! It helped me gain my sleep confidence back.”