August 14, 2014

More than 150 million individuals suffer from insomnia just in the developing world,1 and around 60 million in the United States.Finding sleep has become a challenging endeavour as our lives become more hectic and distracted, specially in technologically interconnected societies. Luc Beaudoin, cognitive scientist and Adjunct Professor of SFU's Faculty of Education, resorts to technology, however, to provide an aid to those with sleep problems. He has developed a new app—mySleepButton—that prompts individuals to visualize random and unrelated events, and shift them frequently. Luc Beaudoin calls this form of mentation (any kind of mental activity), cognitive shuffle, and according to his research it is the ideal kind of mentation to induce sleep. He presented a paper on this, July 23,2014, at the annual meeting of the Cognitive Science Society.

Luc Beaudoin has been receiving attention from various media for his app. Most recently, Popular Science Magazine included mySleepButton as one of the 10 best things from August 2014. The technology blog, DailyTekk, also listed the app as a promising gadget to help achieve an easy sleep. mySleepButton is free and you can download it through Apple's iTunes store.

Beaudoin's app not only aims to assist individuals with their sleep, it also enhances the cognitive productivity of its users. Cognitive productivity is a concept Beaudoin has been investigating for the last several years and it refers to the efficiency with which individuals learn from information and apply it adequately. To read more about this, visit CogZest or get Luc Beaudoin's book: Cognitive Productivity: Using Knowledge to Become Profoundly Effective.


1. Global ‘sleeplessness epidemic’ affects an estimated 150 million in developing world
2. Can't Sleep? Neither Can 60 Million Other Americans