Brown computer scientists developing sleep app that coaches users to improve habits

Brown computer scientists developing sleep app that coaches users to improve habits
Brown computer scientists developing sleep app that coaches users to improve habits
Computer scientists at Brown University are working to develop a sleep app that, in addition to gathering data about users sleep patterns, would advise users on methods to improve sleep and guide them through self-experimentation to determine whether those methods are working.
 
“The idea is to not only present people with information about their sleep, but to give them some control over it by giving recommendations along with a step-by-step plan for improving their sleep,” Brown doctoral student Nediyana Daskalova, who is leading the development of the app, called SleepCoacher, said.
 
Daskalova recently presented a paper that found that 80 percent of users who followed the app’s recommendation at least 60 percent of the time in two small pilot studies reported improved sleep.
 
“Our work is the first of its kind to guide people to figure out whether the data is causal, instead of just correlation,” Jeff Huang, assistant professor of computer science at Brown, said. “That’s particularly exciting for me. We have an approach that could work in the long term to continuously improve sleep over months or even years. And because we are aiming for a lifetime of improvement, this could be personalized for whether you are a night owl or morning person, a light or heavy sleeper, or even someone who needs more than the usual eight hours of sleep.”

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