Sense Sleep

Disease Category:
Target Audience:

Clinical Relevance
Version: 1.0
Developer: SenseLabs
Review Date: 2016-10-31
Cost: Free

Overall App Summary:

Overall, SenseSleep is a good introductory app for users who are looking for a breathing relaxation technique to help them prepare for sleep. It is a data-driven, science-backed mobile application that utilizes objective assessment (breathing, HR) along with subjective assessments (user supplied ratings of sleep quality and stress level) to provide insights to users so they can sleep more readily.  The app’s user-firendly design, real-time feedback, highly individualized elements, and limited time investment by the user make it an effective, inexpensive to help improve sleep. However, for those that have trouble staying asleep or looking to monitor the quality of their sleep, this app will have little benefit.



App’s Intended Use:

SenseSleep is an mobile app launched recently (JAN’16) designed to help guide users through breathing exercises while monitoring their heart rate (via a smartphone’s camera) and prepare the user to sleep. Users may then rate the quality of sleep and track their daily progress.


Who’s this app most useful for?

This app may be beneficial for users who find themselves wanting to relax before they fall asleep.


How should use it?

Users are advised to use SleepSense right before going to sleep, and then right upon waking to capture the right data for analysis. The user should prepare to start the app after finishing readying themselves for bed. Ideally, the user should be in a comfortable setting (i.e. bed) and prepared to sleep, and then initiate this app to help proceed through the breathing regimen.



Is the mobile app clinically relevant? Any clinical benefits? How would you use it as a provider?

The app is broadly based on the insight that slow paced breathing will help users enter the sleep state in less time as well as reducing time to wake up. The benefits of this app would be to help users go through a mental relaxation technique via a breathing regimen, with feedback by recording and assessing their heart rate to determine relaxation.


Is there any published evidence that the app actually works?

There is no clinical evidence presented within the app, but SleepSense is developed by a company called SenseLabs, which has a suite of apps focused on breathing regimens for relaxation. On their website, they cite a number of publications (claims 500+ studies conducted by the company), and their own internal white papers on the evidence of their technique.

An unpublished manuscript (Wyckoff, S., Ford, N.L., Waits, K. Goulet, H. & Sherlin, L. (2015). Sleep Better – Live Better: A White Paper on the Why, How and What of Sleep Assessment and Intervention) is available on the website, as well as a fairly detailed literature review on sleep:


Regulatory Compliance

Most likely exempt under FDA MMA guidance.


What is the most important/ desirable feature of the app?

The app is very easy to use, and is straightforward in design, with a good introduction on use when initiating the app. It cuts straight to the point by providing the breathing regimen as the home screen, and asks for feedback on the previous nights sleep quality.



How would you compare this app to other similar products in its category?

In terms of sleep monitoring, it is likely based on better data by having the user estimate hours spent sleeping and then self-report how good they were, as opposed to using motion sensors in the iphone. Morning heart rate as compared to evening, pre-sleep heart rate are also a good measure of sleep quality. The respiratory exercises are a proven aid to sleep. All in all, this app has many positives and points of difference as compared to competitors.


If there’s a paid version, is it worth the upgrade?


Security and Privacy

Password: Yes. If the user has forgotten the password, they can provide an email address to resent it.
Data Security: "The app has a brief statement, rather than a policy, around privacy. The user is advised that only a “small selection of internal scientists"" see the date. The app is considerably vague, assuring that the data is anonymized and only used to improve app functionality. "
Data Sharing:
Regulatory Compliance:

Timothy Aungst

Timothy Aungst, PharmD, is an assistant professor of pharmacy practice at MCPHS University. He graduated from Wilkes University Nesbitt School of Pharmacy and completed a PGY-1 Pharmacy Practice Residency at St. Luke's University Hospital, and then a Clinical Geriatric Fellowship at MCPHS University. He is passionate about the rise of technology in health care and its application to pharmacy. He has published primarily on the role of mobile technology and mHealth, and made multiple national and international presentations on those topics. He blogs at, and you can find him on Twitter @TDAungst.

Previous clinical contributor for Iodine, inc. Freelance writer for Pharmacy Times.

Ayesha Khalid

Ayesha is an ENT surgeon at Harvard Medical School with an MBA in Global Leadership and Innovation from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Ayesha serves on several Boards for medical organizations and is currently on the board of the American Academy of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery. Ayesha has experience with consulting for private equity firms to evaluate business opportunities in the health IT and medical practice management. She served as Vice-President of Business Development of a digital health start-up out of Johns Hopkins, Doctella. Presently, in addition to clinical practice, Ayes is the Clinician Director for CBIT at the Yale School of Medicine and is curating early stage health IT startups. You can follow Ayesha on Twitter at @ayeshakhalidmd

Conflicts of Interest

Employment: Cambridge Hospital and Harvard Medical School; Yale School of Medicine; Consultant/ Advisor: 480 Biomedical, Stallergenes Greer, Smith and Nephew, Lambay Advisors, Burr Pilgrim Mayer; Ownership: 480 Biomedical, Collective Healthtech, GeoHealth

Paula Payton

A behavioral scientist, I've been working on developing and commercializing innovative technologies to positively impact health & wellness at a Boston-based technology startup, SmartSports. The company generates and analyzes objective, real-time physical risk diagnosis to inform injury prevention strategies, as well as optimize athletic performance. I advise a number of companies in healthcare and technology. I am currently leading a digital innovation initiative at a consumer healthcare company, building out an ecosystem of relationships for co-creation, and accelerating the pace of importing and exporting innovation. I am also an academic researcher, currently completing my PhD in management science at NEOMA Business School (France). I have a post-graduate certificate in Marketing Strategy from Cornell/Johnson School of Management, and a Master’s degree in Behavioral Science from the University of Chicago. I began my career using behavioral insights to build brands and create memorable experiences for a variety of companies, as well as taught and been in administrative roles at academic institutions, including NYU, INSPER Institute of Education and Research (Brazil), University of Arizona, Kelley School of Business @ Indiana University, and Anderson School of Management @ UCLA.

Conflicts of Interest:

Employment: SmartSports; Consultant/ Advisor: None; Ownership: None; Research: None.

Maulik Majmudar

Dr. Maulik Majmudar is a practicing cardiologist and Associate Director of the Healthcare Transformation Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital; and an Instructor at Harvard Medical School. He lectures at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in areas of healthcare innovation & entrepreneurship, as well as medical device design and development. Dr. Majmudar started his career as a medical student at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, completed resident training in Internal Medicine at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, and followed by a fellowship in Cardiovascular Medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital at Harvard Medical School. You can follow him @mmajmudar

Conflicts of Interest:

Employment: Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School; Consultant/ Advisor: AliveCor, BioFourmis, Cardiogram, EchoSense, Facebook, HUINNO, MC10, Nokia; Ownership: BioFourmis, Cardiogram, HiLabs, Quanttus; Research: EchoSense, GE Healthcare, MIT.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *