An app designed in collaboration with the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to support veterans having trouble sleeping.
What does the app do?
This app is designed in collaboration with the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), so it is aimed mainly at supporting veterans and military service members who are having trouble sleeping, but most of the information and recommendations are quite general, and can be helpful to anyone having sleep difficulties. The developers recommend that this app be used together with a health care provider. The app is divided into 4 main sections:
- My Sleep — this section has questions and assessments that enable the user to get a better idea of their sleep habits and together with their health care provider, can ascertain if they have a sleep problem. After completing 5 sleep day diary entries, the user is given an individualised sleep prescription.
- Tools — this section has various tools to improve sleep habits. For example, users are offered suggestions on how to incorporate positive behaviours into their nighttime routine, and given a variety of relaxation techniques to help ease into sleep including audio and visual exercises to help settle the mind.
- Learn — provides users with information to get a better understanding of sleep and sleep problems. This section also has a basic glossary that explains the meaning of complex terms around insomnia.
- Reminders — this section has various reminders to encourage you to use the tools in the app and to help you keep a healthy sleep schedule.
✔ Extensive input from medical professionals
Comprehensive accurate information about sleep, sleep hygiene, stimulus control and many related topics.
✔ Many audio-visual guided tools – breathing tool, relaxation tool, mindfulness, body scan and guided imageries. Audio-visual guided breathing tool and a muscle relaxation tool.
✔ Has numerous types of reminders (e.g. worry time, wind down time, bed time, wake time etc)
Sleep diary, calculation of sleep efficiency and graphing of data.
✔ Record and track results from a validated sleep questionnaire – the insomnia severity index.
✔ The app can algorithmically set and adjust sleep/wake times based on sleep diary and questionnaire data following sleep restriction principles.
✔ If your sleep quality is too poor, it will prompt you to see a professional before allowing the app to prescribe a bedtime. You can override this by selecting that you are seeing a professional in the settings.
✘ Export data function does not appear to working - causes the app to crash.
✘ No syncing of data.
✘ User interface/design hard to use and navigate.
Privacy and security
Date of review: February 2017
Platform reviewed: Android
App version: 1.2
Download size: 32 MB
Ranked Health app review for CBT-i Coach
Practical Apps review: Insomnia apps
Koffel E, Kuhn E, Petsoulis N, et al. A randomized controlled pilot study of CBT-I Coach: Feasibility, acceptability, and potential impact of a mobile phone application for patients in cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. Health Informatics J. 2016 Jun 27.
Kuhn E, Weiss BJ, Taylor KL, et al. CBT-I Coach: A Description and Clinician Perceptions of a Mobile App for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia. J Clin Sleep Med. 2016 Apr 15;12(4):597-606.
Ko PR, Kientz JA, Choe EK, et al. Consumer Sleep Technologies: A Review of the Landscape. J Clin Sleep Med. 2015 Dec 15;11(12):1455-61.
Reviewer: Jeremy Steinberg, GP Registrar, RNZCGP
Date of review: March 2018
Comments: "This app is most useful for people with insomnia, especially as a tool to use alongside seeing a professional that is trained in treating insomnia. This app, which has had extensive input from medical professionals, follows many evidence based approaches to the treatment of insomnia such as sleep education, stimulus control, sleep hygiene, cognitive behavioural approaches, and sleep restriction. It has many features such as a sleep diary with graphing, algorithmic setting and adjusting of sleep/wake times based on diary and sleep questionnaire data, audio-visual guided relaxation tools and a multitude of reminders.
The user interface and design appears to be difficult to use and navigate, and the data exporting function does not appear to be working. Despite this, I still think this is a very high-quality app and could see many people getting a lot of benefit out of it even if they are not seeing an insomnia treatment
Safety concerns: "None."
New Zealand relevance: "Relevant to New Zealanders"
The tech review relates to the technical aspects of the app, such as security, privacy, etc.
Reviewer: Unmesh Jyoti Nitin, PGDip Health Informatics, April 2017
- Platform Support: Requires iOS 8.4 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Requires Android 2.2 and up.
- Performance: App is responsive and features are performing as designed.
- Impact of app on battery: App doesn’t use mobile data or WiFi except for updates. Therefore, it won’t be expensive on data.
- Data Sharing: No apparent data sharing.
The following links provide more detailed information on the technical aspects of apps.
Understanding mobile apps Consumer Information Federal Trade Commission
Mobile Privacy North Caroline Health Info
Mobile health and fitness apps: What are the privacy risks? Privacy Rights Clearinghouse