Doctors at the Evelina Children’s Hospital in London, UK have developed a free iPhone app to help parents identify and solve their children’s sleeping patterns through personalized advice. The doctor-launched app will be useful to over two million concerned parents and will take some of the pressure of the UK health system, BBC’s James Gallagher reports.
Kids Sleep Doctor offers tailored advice for parents including how to handle up-all-night teenagers and night terrors in younger children. The user-friendly app lets the parent draw in their child’s sleep pattern and offers a bird’s eye view on how much shuteye a child gets weekly.
The app lets the parent compare their child’s sleeping pattern with that of children of the same age to help them understand how much room for improvement there is with regard to their child’s sleep habits.
By feeding lifestyle information onto the app, like what activities a child or teen engages in and how many caffeinated drinks they have during the day, helps the parents identify what might disturbing their kids’ sleep.
The app comes with a non-disruptive orange color scheme. This ensures blue-light emissions are kept to a minimum and one’s sleep is not disturbed when using it during the night.
According to Prof. Paul Gringras the app offers personalized service to parents after five days’ worth of sleep pattern data are submitted into the app:
“Hopefully they are sleeping in the normal range, but if they’re outside that then it advises parents.”
The app offers parents tips on how to effectively handle a child waking up with night terror and unable to recognize his/her own parents for example.
Kids Sleep Doctor has been developed to take some of the pressure of the health system, not to make money, the Children’s Hospital says. The iPhone app is free to download from the Apple Store and an Android and Windows version will soon be released. Professor Gringras, who works at the Evelina Children’s Hospital, says:
“I think there’s a lot of people it could prevent needing to see a GP. Parents can do a brilliant job.”
The Kids Sleep Doctor app is one of many sleep-monitoring devices and apps created to help people improve their sleep quality.
Fox News mentions Sleep Better and Sleep Cycle Alarm, apps that help individuals sleep better by tracking their sleep movements and other lifestyle choices in order to help identify potential sleep disturbance triggers and eliminate them. Fox News’ Kim Komando writes about SleepBot:
“[It] tracks your sleep like the others, but also includes sound recording so you can detect problems like sleep apnea, or find out what nighttime sounds cause you to move around.”
With more than 60 million Americans unable to get enough sleep and rest, the need for such technologies is evident. The Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep has developed My Sleep101, a mobile app for health care providers that are not sleep disorder experts and helps them handle their patients’ sleep related problems efficiently.
Inadequate sleep or poor sleep quality is associated with increased risk for stroke, cardiovascular disease and dementia. In terms of daily performance and wellbeing, poor sleep results in mood swings, irritability, headaches, compromised concentration and productivity.