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Sleep App Scrambles Thoughts To Foil Worries

Sleep App Scrambles Thoughts To Foil Worries

New research aimed at helping people get to sleep will be highlighted at an upcoming international sleep conference this week.

Dr. Luc Beaudoin, an adjunct professor in cognitive science and education at Simon Fraser University in Canada created the mySleepButton® app two years ago. It uses what he calls a “cognitive shuffle,” or Serial Diverse Imagining (SDI), a method that essentially “scrambles” one’s thoughts and keeps the mind off issues that may prevent sleep.

“A racing mind, worries, and uncontrollable thoughts are common bedtime complaints among poor sleepers,” Beaudoin notes.

Beaudoin will present his research at a joint meeting of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society.

Beaudoin and colleagues tested the method among 154 university students who complained of excessive cognitive pre-sleep arousal. The study employed SDI tasks, which occur at bedtime, and also used a standard treatment of structured problem solving (SP), which is done prior to bedtime and takes about 15 minutes.

The researchers found SDI to be as effective in reducing pre-sleep arousal, sleep effort, and poor sleep quality, with the added advantage of being done while in bed.

However SDI is not without its challenges. “The human brain is a ‘meaning maker’ or a sense-making machine,” said Beaudoin.

“It is actually very difficult for people to conjure up random images unaided. However according to my theory, while it may be difficult to engage in SDI, it is not only a consequence of sleep onset; SDI facilitates it.”

While one solution is Beaudoin’s app, he has also invented a “do-it-yourself” version of SDI. The technique provides a sequence of letters that cue a series of relatively unrelated words, which could potentially be customized to individuals.

“My hope is that popular culture will absorb the notion that counting sheep is not effective, whereas SDI is,” said Beaudoin.

Source: Simon Fraser University

Sleep App Scrambles Thoughts To Foil Worries

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2016). Sleep App Scrambles Thoughts To Foil Worries. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 19, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2016/06/13/sleep-app-scrambles-thoughts-to-foil-worries/104703.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 13 Jun 2016
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Jun 2016
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.