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New mobile app monitors sleep based on heart rate

January 29, 2014
by Richard R. Rogoski
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Using algorithms and technology it licensed from Stanford University School of Medicine, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto, Caif.-based SleepRate has developed a mobile app that can monitor a person's sleep patterns based on changes to their heart rate.

The underlying technology called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CTBI) and the proprietary algorithms came out of the medical school's sleep clinic and uses the "brain-heart connection" to determine the cause of sleep problems by analyzing the heart rate. It then provides daily reports of the person's sleep patterns including when they fell asleep, total time asleep, sleep stages, awakenings, and even snoring.

This compiled information is used to develop a sleep improvement plan which takes into consideration the person's biological clock and sleep drive. It then makes individualized recommendations in the form of sleep-related behavioral goals.

In a press release announcing the new app, Dr. Rachel Manber, director of the insomnia program at the Stanford Center for Sleep Medicine and Research, noted, "In studies, we’ve seen that most people treated with CBTI improve their sleep. CBTI is a structured intervention that helps people concentrate their energy on actions that are most likely to produce improvements in their sleep fairly quickly."