From: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Published April 12, 2017 12:16 PM

Study of sleep apps finds room for improvement

An analysis of 35 popular phone-based sleep apps finds that while most help users set sleep-related goals and track and manage their sleep, few make use of other methods known to help the chronically sleep-deprived.

Many of the apps soothe users with nature sounds, calming music, colors and images. Some also offer white noise, guided meditations or hypnotic suggestions. But less than half of the apps analyzed offer general information about sleep, and less than 15 percent explain its benefits or the dangers of not getting enough of it, researchers report in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports.

“We were surprised that some of the apps didn’t say anything about the recommended amount of sleep someone should get on a regular basis,” said University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Diana Grigsby-Toussaint, who led the new analysis with colleagues at the New York University School of Medicine. “And there weren’t a lot of apps that had any information about the benefits of sleep.”

The researchers originally screened 369 sleep apps available on Android phones and iPhones. From those, they selected stand-alone apps in English, sleep alarm apps rated by more than 1,000 users, and sleep tracker or monitor apps reviewed by 100 or more users.

Read more at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Image: A new study evaluates 35 popular phone-based sleep apps (Graphic by Julie McMahon)

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