An app for people having trouble sleeping.
What does the app do?
This app has soundtracks designed to aid sleep in either a nap module (for a shorter daytime sleep) or sleep module (for a longer night-time sleep). These soundtracks change every day.The app plays a mixture of music, sound effects and a male voiceover. The different frequencies in the soundtrack are supposed to soothe and calm the brain - the app developers describe this as "binaural beats that induce theta brainwaves". The user can customise numerous settings including the length of the track, the volume of the soundtrack, the volume of the voice, turning off the voice, setting an alarm, and turning off phone notifications. In the pro version, users have access to more soundtracks including a 'focus' module, more app functions (such as choosing a female voice) and monthly updates. For a more detailed description of the app, see Google Play or iTunes and for a detailed review, see Reviews.
✔ The app is based on research albeit limited.
✔ Wide selection of high quality audio tracks to help with sleep and focus.
✔ Voice-overs with scripts based on progressive relaxation and hypnosis. Choose from a female or male voice.
✔ Built in timer.
✔ Fairly frequent updated.
✘ Large download size (wi-fi download preferrable).
✘ Fairly expensive for what you get (10 USD a month) and the free version is very limited.
✘ Evidence to support use of the app appears limited.
✘ Some of the voice-overs are based on neurolinguistic programming which is a psychological approach that has been discredited scientifically
✘ You may need to use earbuds to get the most out of
Security and privacy
Date of review: December 2017
Platform reviewed: Android
App version: 4.7.7
Download size: 585 MB
Practical Apps 2: Review of 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.
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Reviewer: Jeremy Steinberg, GP, RNZCGP
Date of review: March 2018
Comments: This app is useful for people with insomnia who would like to try music and sound-assisted relaxation to improve their sleep. It is a collection of original audio tracks to help with sleep and focus and comes with a built-in timer. It has three sections: sleep, nap and focus.
The developers have attempted to base the app on sound and music-assisted research, and I applaud them for that, however after reading the studies myself I do feel that their claim of being “clinically proven to help you sleep” is overblown. This statement is based on a small limited study done in in 2008. Most glaringly it only assessed the effect of using it for napping and resulting well-being, and it only showed very small improvements in well-being. It did NOT assess whether people succeeded in napping. They compared pzizz it to “relaxation tracks” on iTunes and improvements were similar.
Overall, I think it is a high quality app but feel it is a bit too expensive for what you get. I suspect that the effect on sleep will be quite variable from person to person. They do have a free trial, and it wouldn’t hurt to give it a go if you feel this is something that could be helpful for you. The free version is too limited to be of much use.
Safety concerns: None.
The tech review relates to the technical aspects of the app, such as security, privacy, etc.
Reviewer: Unmesh Jyoti Nitin, PGDip Health Informatics, March 2017
Platform Support: Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Requires Android 4.0 and up.
Performance: App is responsive and features are performing as designed.
Impact of app on battery: App doesn’t include online services and offers offline playback. Therefore, it won’t be expensive on data.
Data Sharing : Data can be shared on social media such as facebook and Twitter by the user.
The following links provide more detailed information on the technical aspects of apps.
Understanding mobile apps Consumer Information Federal Trade Commission
Mobile health and fitness apps: What are the privacy risks? Privacy Rights Clearinghouse