Insufficient sleep is miserable on short timescales, and only gets worse when prolonged for weeks or months. But what do we know about our bodies when we're sleep deprived, besides that they feel awful? Research shows that sleep restricted peoples' perceptions of how well they're doing often greatly exceed their actual performances. In other words: the low on sleep don't realize how bad off they are.
Using cutting edge mathematical models describing the way our brains respond to chronic sleep restriction, Sleep.easy acts as a noninvasive microscope, allowing users to see a prediction of current performance based on their reported sleep times for the past two weeks. The performance metric is mapped to blood alcohol content (BAC) levels, to emphasize the loss of function that comes with lost sleep. Keeping track of sleep in the app is quick and easy to do, and Sleep.easy includes a place for logging caffeine and keeping notes, so that it can also function as a health diary for people with sleep problems. Interested users can email all their saved data to their physicians-- or their friends, if that's the kind of thing they're into.
Sleep.easy began as a design-emphasis app, and many of the views I started working on the first night with that in mind have been incorporated into the final version. My plan is to expand the app so that users can anonymously submit their sleep data to researchers the University of Michigan-- and my hope is that bright colors and interesting displays motivate people to engage with the underlying science!