The SleepQ iOS app is moving forward rapidly! We are very encouraged with the progress our design/programming team has been making, and I want to share a sample screen shot:
I chose to show this screen because, although it is only partially complete showing just two sleep trials, it highlights two significant features of sleep training with SleepQ: variable training intensity, and awareness of sleep.
Sleep training is similar to any other behavioral conditioning. For example, when you exercise, increasingly intense training routines lead to being stronger, faster, etc. The same concept is true with learning a musical instrument. With SleepQ, the duration of time the user is given to fall asleep each sleep trial adjusts. Specifically, it gets shorter when the user was able to fall asleep in the previous sleep trial and longer when sleep did not occur. This variable sleep training intensity keeps the user at the optimal level of training.
The hypothetical summary graph above shows an increase in sleep trail time from trial 1 to trial 2. This means that the user did not fall asleep in trial 1, and therefore was given more time in trial 2. Over a number of sleep trials, a downward trend would represent improving ability to get to sleep.
Beside variable training intensity, SleepQ will also help improve awareness in sleep. Most people with chronic insomnia feel they sleep very little, not at all on some nights, especially if they are attempting to reduce their sleeping medication. People with chronic insomnia usually sleep more than they think they do. Similar to how overweight people are often not aware of how full they are, chronic insomniacs can poorly estimate their sleepiness level.
In the graph above, awareness of sleep is displayed by color: a red bar indicates the user was not correct in their estimate of sleep for that sleep trial; a blue bar indicates the user was correct in their estimate. This color feedback will easily give the user a sense of their sleep, or lack of it.
A full graph of 10-20 sleep trials done in the afternoon/evening will be highly informative to someone with chronic insomnia. Sleep trial times, representing ability to fall asleep, will show a pattern or trend. Color, representing awareness of sleep, will also show a pattern or trend. Combined, these two types of information were shown to have a powerful effect in reducing insomnia in Australian sleep research called Intensive Sleep Retraining. And yes of course, you will be able to save and share your summary graph with your friends, showing them how you are learning to “sleep on cue” 🙂