Believe it or not! Scientists have developed a smartphone app that would help you to sleep. The app termed as mySleepButton curbs sleep-interfering thoughts and activates a mechanism that could help trigger sleep. It incorporates concepts from cognitive science, a multidisciplinary study of the mind and its processes.
The technique has been developed by researcher Luc Beaudoin of Canada-based Simon Fraser University. The app helps users to imagine various objects or scenes in rapid succession.
The method is based on the uniquely incoherent nature of sleep onset “mentation” a term used by Beaudoin that refers to all kinds of mental activity.
The app gets users to think in a manner that, like sleep onset, is both visual and random.
Brain areas involved in controlling sleep detect that sense-making has been suspended. This gives them an implicit license to continue the transition to sleep. Executive functions – brain functions like planning, worrying and problem solving that are vital for making sense of the world during waking hours-
– can delay sleep when they don’t switch off at bed time.
By prompting users to interpret and visualise words, mySleepButton can help deactivate these executive functions.
The app could also help increase cognitive productivity as well.
Quality of work decreases when people are sleep-deprived and getting adequate sleep is very important for cognitive performance.