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Friday, November 3, 2017

ASAA announces version 2.1 updates to the SleepHealth Mobile App Research Study

The American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA) is pleased to announce the upcoming 2.1 version upgrade of its groundbreaking sleep tracking app.

The SleepHealth Mobile App Research Study, first launched in March 2016, released an upgraded version on November 1. 

“This is one of the most exciting studies I have ever been a part of,” says Carl Stepnowsky, the ASAA’s Chief Science Officer, sleep researcher and clinician. “To co-design this study with patients and to be able to ask questions of participants about their nighttime sleep and daytime functioning as they go about their normal daily lives represents two ways we are trying to do research differently!”


Instructions for using the upgraded SleepHealth Mobile App Research Study 

Current users

We appreciate your continued participation in the study! You can read below to learn about all the new changes and improvements coming your way. 
If you are an existing user, you do not need to sign up again. Just click ‘already participating’ and log in with your existing email and password. That's it! 
As always, we appreciate your feedback. And don’t hesitate to reach out to us at if you are having any problems with the app. 

New users

We appreciate your interest in participating in the study!  
To install the new 2.1 version of your app, please navigate to the iTunes App Store using the following link:  
From there, click on the SleepHealth icon to install the latest version. That's it! 
We appreciate your feedback. Please  don’t hesitate to reach out to us at if you are having any problems with the app. 

Unverified new users

Some new users who have installed the previous SleepHealth App may have been unable to verify their accounts. We apologize for the inconvenience, and encourage you to install the latest version of SleepHealth, 2.1, instead.  
You can read below to learn about all the new changes and improvements coming your way. 
To install the latest version of the app, please navigate to the iTunes App Store using the following link: 
From there, click on the SleepHealth icon to install the latest version. That's it! 
If you continue to have problems with your app verification, installation, or usage, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at We look forward to working together with you to make SleepHealth App even better for the future!

About the SleepHealth Mobile App Research Study

The study is an opt-in mobile research app designed to help users explore the relationship between nighttime sleep and next-day functioning. We also wanted to learn more about how to increase participation in longitudinal population-based studies through the use of a novel, open-source software platform (Apple ResearchKit).

Part of our goal in creating this multifunctional app is to:

  • learn more about sleep patterns among a broad demographic
  • link both poor and good sleep habits with daytime performance
  • understand the bidirectional relationship between sleep quality and medical comorbidities, and
  • determine whether the simple act of self-monitoring sleep patterns could lead to improvements in sleep quality, overall health and well-being

As we come to better understand how users turn to their IPhones and other wearables to track their sleep, we can apply what we discover to improved future versions of the app in a way that can be even more comprehensive and meaningful for the user.

How we've improved the SleepHealth Mobile App Research Study

We're happy to report a long list of improvements to our first version launched in March 2016. As with any app update, we have made general improvements and bug fixes to improve the app's stability. We have also incorporated the following upgrades and updates:

Addition of Objective Sleep Measurement to Dashboard

The SleepHealth Mobile App Dashboard now displays total sleep time (TST) calculated using Apple Health-compatible wearable devices and apps. Our first version only displayed the TST that was reported in the Morning Check-In. Now a user can see the TST from the sleep wearable along with the self-reported TST, and compare both to daytime functioning. 

Personalized user feedback

Users are given individualized feedback on how their data compares to other people of similar age and gender.

Improved instruction on use of features and use of the app over time

Additional text boxes have been added with more detailed instructions on using various app features, as well as more detailed explanations of what is displayed on the dashboard.

Users can now share additional HealthKit metrics with the SleepHealth app

Apple Health metrics that are shareable with the SleepHealth app have been increased from a subset to all available metrics. Also, improvements to both the AppleHealthKit and ResearchKit linkage have been made.

Notification fixes

The app now correctly notifies users to complete required activities every three months. (Note: Notifications can be turned on/off the same as before.) Notification text has also been slightly modified to be more accurate.

What the SleepHealth Mobile App Research Study has taught us already

Here are some interesting metrics we were able to identify since the launch of our first version of the app. We hope to continue to see its successful use by users as both a tracker and research data tool.  

App metrics

To date, The SleepHealth Mobile App Research Study:
  • has been viewed 57,110 times on the app store
  • has been downloaded 21,428 times
  • has a total of 10,243 participants enrolled

Demographics and Research Participation

From a recent sample:
  • Users are approximately 76 percent male, 24 percent female
  • 58 percent have completed a four-year college education or above
  • The mean participant age was 36.8 years old, with a standard deviation of 12.7 years. Range of participant age was 18 to 87 years old.
  • 55 percent reported that they have flexible work hours
  • 71 percent reported that they had never participated in a research study before

User's Sleep Insights

Of the participants surveyed:
  • they reported sleeping an average of 6.8 hours on weeknights, with a standard deviation of 1.2 hours ranging between 3 and 12.2 hours.
  • they reported sleeping an average of 8 hours nightly on weekends, with a standard deviation of 1.5 hours ranging between 3 and 16 hours.
  • they reported that they believed they need 7.5 hours of sleep, with a standard deviation of 1.2 hours ranging between 3 and 12 hours.
  • about half in the sample reported taking naps during the day
  • 60 percent of the sample indicated they are very dependent on their alarm clocks to wake up in the morning, suggesting that they may be sleep deprived
  • 40 percent of the sample expressed that they believe they have a sleep problem
  • about 40 percent of the sample have expressed this concern to a clinician

The SleepHealth Mobile App Research Study needs participant feedback!

The larger goal of this effort is to make the study a full-fledged participatory research study.

Stepnowsky said, If we can take your ideas and incorporate them into the current study, we will do that. Alternatively, we are always looking for research ideas from our community⸺keep those ideas coming our way!

App developers need to hear your participant feedback.

Tell us what you think!  Join us in our SleepHealth Forum at our dedicated app feedback page



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