Study finds sleep coaching app can help recover an extra hour of rest

The participants also apparently improved the quality of their sleep without the use of drugs.

Sleep Reset

The makers of an app called Sleep Reset claim it can help you get more (and better) sleep without the use of drugs — and they have the study to prove it. A group of researchers from the University of Arizona's Sleep and Health Research Program, some of whom also serve as the company's medical advisors, have just published a paper in peer-reviewed journal Frontiers in Sleep. The paper details the results of a 12-week program that used Sleep Reset, which apparently increased the average participant's sleep time by 44 minutes.

Those who were getting less than six hours of sleep a night increased their sleep time by 85 minutes. Some of them likely improved their time because they were able to fall asleep much earlier: The paper says participants who typically lie awake for more than 30 minutes before dozing off managed to reduce that time by 53 percent. And those who usually spend more than an hour trying to fall asleep were able to reduce their time awake by 41 percent. Meanwhile, those'd wake up more than three times overnight found themselves experiencing two fewer nightly awakenings. The researchers also said that nearly half of the participants stopped using sleep aids after completing the program.

The study involved 564 participants (65 percent of whom were female) aged 30 to 60 years old who followed a standardized curriculum for three months. They used Sleep Reset in the way it's meant to be used in that its sleep coaches gave them personalized recommendations and feedback via text messages within the app. They also used the app's sleep diary, mindfulness exercises and trackers to monitor their progress. To use Sleep Reset, a user needs to answer a series of questions on what kind of sleep they're getting and what they're having trouble with. They're also asked to state what their goals are, such as whether they're looking to feel more well-rested or to look more youthful.

I tried the sleep assessment test and was told repeatedly throughout that Sleep Reset is effective because it "uses the same scientifically proven methods that are used by top tier Sleep Clinics like Stanford and Mayo Clinic." It also said that Sleep Reset uses "scientific strategies," such as techniques based on cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, and coaches users about behavioral scheduling, light exposure and relaxation. I only got so far as the page charging me for a seven-day trial period, which users could get for as little as $9 to as much as $29. The most expensive option, the company said, will help it support those who could only afford to pay the minimum amount.

That said, the participants' curriculum gives us a good look at how Sleep Reset can help support its users. Every week, they received different types of coaching tips. During week three, for instance, they got napping strategies and tips on caffeine intake, while they received information on how nutrition and physical movement affect sleep quality during week six. While there was a theme for each week, the participants presumably received information that's tailored for each of them.

Dr. Michael Grandner, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Arizona College of Medicine and Sleep Reset's Lead Scientific advisor said: "Many popular sleep solutions like Trazadone, Benadryl and Melatonin don't even have the clinical evidence to increase total sleep time much at all. Ambien and Lunesta are known to increase sleep time by around 30 minutes, but that's much less than what we've seen from Sleep Reset. What's even better is that Sleep Reset is a non-medication intervention, thus non-habit forming and devoid of troubling side effects."

You can watch Dr. Grandner talk about their study below:

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