I’m delighted to announce that CogSci Apps Corp. has just released mySleepButton on the Apple App Store. It’s the first sleep app based on cognitive science.
It uses a radically different approach to sleep from all the other apps on the market.
It’s based on a new set of “sleep onset acceleration” techniques that I developed, which in turn are based on ideas I developed about sleep onset.
I developed the concept of “super-somnolent mentation”. That is to get into a mental state that is both incompatible with “insomnolent” mentation (thinking, feeling, etc.) and conducive to sleep (inherently somnolent).
Counter-insomnolent + somnolent = Super-somnolent mentation
Its trick is to get the user to imagine one scene or object at a time, and then to rapidly switch to another image, and then another, and so on until the user falls asleep. This interferes with the kind of thinking that can keep you awake (problem solving, planning, worrying, etc.). It also is “incoherent”, which is a property I claim is (a) unique to sleep onset and (b) somnolent. The fact that it causes the user to imagine things is also somnolent.
The technique is related to “imagery training”, but imagery training is not based on a detailed analysis of sleep onset. Imagery training is not super-somnolent.
I published an open-access paper about this at SFU last year:
Beaudoin, L. P. (2013). The possibility of super-somnolent mentation: A new information-processing approach to sleep-onset acceleration and insomnia exemplified by serial diverse imagining. Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University. (40 p.)
We are developing plans for a clinical test of mySleepButton, but CogZest’s own empirical and theoretical research on serial diverse imagining has been sufficiently promising to release this app.
mySleepButton is an excellent proof of the central concept at the basis of CogSci Apps Corp., namely that “potent” software designs can be derived from cognitive science.