Forget Counting Sheep: Shuffle Your Thoughts to Sleep…
mySleepButton is an app designed to help you fall asleep. It’s based on our contribution to cognitive science. Just press the “Put Me to Sleep” button, close your eyes, and imagine the various things mySleepButton reads to you as you fall asleep.
It’s much easier to fall asleep when:
- you keep your mind off the kind of thinking that keeps you awake,
- your mind wanders from one “random” image to another.
mySleepButton is designed to put your mind in this sleep-inducing state.
All you need to do is:
- press the “Put Me to Sleep” button, and
- imagine the diverse things mentioned by the app.
This will keep your mind off your concerns and into a state that is wonderfully conducive to sleep…
It’s that simple.
Let Your Imagination Lull You to Sleep
Adults live in a very “left-brain” world dominated by language and thinking. Young children in contrast spend a lot of time imagining and playing. Of course, adults look at a lot of images — videos, TV, film, photos and logos. But they tend to do so passively, and usually with lots of chatter (whether it’s vocal or not).
Sleep researchers have found that as people fall asleep, they often experience visual images and “micro-dreams”. The diverse images people imagine may help them fall asleep.
In contrast, continuing to think in a verbal, analytic, problem-solving mode can delay sleep onset.
mySleepButton induces you to replace your internal mental dialog with a dreamy parade of sundry images that are conducive to sleep.
Choose What You Imagine (mySleepButton Pack)
mySleepButton gives you the choice between several different kinds of things to imagine, each in its own mySleepButton Pack:
- Simple Things (single words or short phrases),
- Scenes (multi-word phrases, e.g., “Bird on a branch”), and
- Things to Draw.
Play to Sleep
Many busy people are not only sleep deprived, they’re play deprived. As Dr. Stuart Brown, author of the book, Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul, says:
a highly playful child or adult is not going to be depressed. It’s a signal of good emotional health. And conversely, the lack of play and the downer which that evokes in most of us is smoldering depression. […] the evidence is so solid that if you do incorporate healthy play into your life your performance is going to be better, your health is going to be better, your relationships are going to better.
Dr. Stuart Brown
mySleepButton is a playful app.
There is even a game-like way of using the principles leveraged by mySleepButton: Do-It-Yourself Cognitive Shuffle.
Be An Artist: Imagine Drawing to Sleep
Not only do people not play enough, or imagine enough, they don’t draw enough either. Well, who would have thought that a sleep app could also let you draw?
When you choose the “Things to Draw” mySleepButton pack, the app names things to imagine yourself drawing, one at a time. Fortunately, drawing in your head is a lot easier than drawing on paper. Just imagine yourself easily drawing the item!
Will imagining yourself drawing help you draw during the day? Many psychologists believe visualization does help performance. For example, as a way to practice, some professional hockey players imagine themselves scoring. Find out if it works for you!
We’ve received a lot of positive feedback about mySleepButton. For example…
Thanks guys. It has really helped me get to sleep at night!
i first became aware of your technique from the guardian. i travel a lot and find it difficult some times to fall asleep. new city, new clients , old clients complaining etc etc. My biggest problem was getting to sleep early and then waking after a couple of hours of rest and not being able to get back to sleep.
so i tried a very uncomplicated version as explained in the Guardian article. i am amazed [at] its effectiveness. I have been using the technique (just choose a letter and think and visualise the object 3 to 4 seconds) repeat until asleep. now i barely get past the 3rd or 4th word. it as if the brain has said " ahhh he is doing that thing again put him to sleep.)
The act of changing completely what you’re thinking about every 15 seconds or so disrupts your brain from being able to get onto what you were thinking about, to get onto those racing thoughts that keep you awake at night…
You just start to drift off and fall asleep.
I’ve found [mySleepButton] very effective to get into that really drowsy state where no thoughts can penetrate anymore.
This works better than Pzizz for me.
"I've been trying out your app - It's a fantastic concept and it's definitely effective. "
Trouble sleeping? The free, http://mysleepbutton.com app from @CogSciApps will knock you out without drugs. I tried it, and it really works.
How Does mySleepButton Compare to Other Sleep Apps?
mySleepButton uses a radically different approach to induce sleep than the other apps on the market.
- mySleepButton is based on cognitive science, the modern science of mind.
- mySleepButton leverages the new cognitive shuffle / super-somnolent mentation framework proposed by CogSci Apps Corp. co-founder, Dr. Luc Beaudoin.
- mySleepButton radically improves upon the well-researched “imagery” sleep induction method.
- mySleepButton gets you to serially imagine diverse things.
- mySleepButton is extremely simple.
- mySleepButton is laser-focused on sleep onset; it does not require that you enter personal data or delve into psychological issues.
- mySleepButton has an option to imagine yourself drawing items, which can also induce sleep (and is fun!).
- mySleepButton even has a DIY variant.
- mySleepButton is also a tool for sleep researchers and cognitive scientists, meaning that it contributes to scientific knowledge.
- mySleepButton is designed to help us continuously improve our understanding of sleep onset and to improve the app itself.
- We have a backlog of new CogSci Apps™ features and enhancements to mySleepButton in the works; they will gradually be introduced in product updates.
- mySleepButton explicitly involves a form of play; it’s fun!
mySleepButton is free to try on iOS, and less than $5 on Google Play (prices vary by jurisdiction). If you find it helpful, please consider purchasing one or more of the Full mySleepButton packs from the Packs tab. The packs give you more content to imagine. Developing a better cognitive sleep aid that does not involve medication has been a major objective of sleep research for a long time; we think mySleepButton delivers the goods. Your purchase will help fund our Research & Development to make this app even better. Because mySleepButton is also part of a scientific project, you are also supporting the development of a scientific tool. Hence you are supporting sleep research and cognitive science. This inexpensive app has the potential to help millions of people. Please also consider letting others know about mySleepButton.
CogSci Apps™ software is designed to work with the human mind. Although mySleepButton is fun, we take cognitive science very seriously. Compare Luc Beaudoin’s book, Cognitive Productivity: The Art and Science of Using Knowledge to Become Profoundly Effective.
New Cognitive Science of Sleep-onset
mySleepButton is based on deep new insights about sleep-onset developed by Dr. Luc P. Beaudoin, co-founder of CogSci Apps Corp. He published his discovery in 2013 at Simon Fraser University. His method is based on the idea that normally sleep onset “mentation” is uniquely incoherent. (“Mentation” refers to all kinds of mental activity such as imagining, thinking, feeling, ruminating, regretting, wishing, worrying, pining, remembering, planning and problem solving.)
Here are the basic concepts.
- “Insomnolent mentation” is mentation that interferes with falling asleep.
- “Counter-insomnolent mentation” is mentation that interferes with insomnolent mentation (e.g., typical meditation and progress relaxation). That is what a lot of psychological techniques involve. But this is not always sufficient to push you over the edge into sleep!
- “Somnolent mentation” is thinking in a manner that signals to your brain that it is time to fall asleep.
- Whereas waking mentation is characterized by sense-making, at sleep onset, the mind often serially produces diverse mental images and memories, a “cognitive shuffle“.
It stands to reason that if you can engage in mentation that is both counter-insomnolent and somnolent, you are much more likely to fall asleep. That is precisely what mySleepButton induces:
- Super-somnolent mentation = Counter-insomnolent + somnolent mentation.
mySleepButton is the only app on the market designed to trigger super-somnolent mentation. In our tests, the cognitive shuffle was effective for the overwhelming majority of participants.
Find Out More
Check out our support pages for more information.
Sign-up to our newsletter. We only use it for major announcements, such as the upcoming availability of the Android version of mySleepButton.
You can even read about the concepts on which mySleepButton is based: super-somnolent mentation, the cognitive shuffle, and serial diverse imagining. They were created by Dr. Luc P. Beaudoin at Simon Fraser University.
So, give mySleepButton a try. And help your family and friends sleep better by letting them know through Twitter, Facebook, email and other social media that mySleepButton has helped you get more sleep.