research, news, cognitive science
SFU Faculty of Education adjunct professor research highlighted at sleep conference
SFU research aimed at helping people get to sleep will be highlighted at an international sleep conference next week. Luc Beaudoin, an adjunct professor in cognitive science and education, created the mySleepButton® app two years ago (a new version with the world’s first configurable “body scan” will be released shortly). It uses what he calls a “cognitive shuffle,” or Serial Diverse Imagining (SDI), a method that essentially “scrambles” one’s thoughts and keeps the mind off issues that may prevent sleep. “A racing mind, worries and uncontrollable thoughts are common bedtime complaints among poor sleepers,” Beaudoin notes.
He and colleagues tested the method among 154 university students who complained of excessive cognitive pre-sleep arousal. The study employed SDI tasks, which occur at bedtime, and also used a standard treatment of structured problem solving (SP), which is done prior to bedtime and takes about 15 minutes. They found SDI to be as effective in reducing pre-sleep arousal, sleep effort and poor sleep quality – with the added advantage of being done while in bed.
However SDI is not without its challenges. “The human brain is a ‘meaning maker’ or a sense-making machine,” says Beaudoin. “It is actually very difficult for people to conjure up random images unaided. However according to my theory, while it may be difficult to engage in SDI, it is not only a consequence of sleep onset; SDI facilitates it.”
While one solution is Beaudoin’s app, he has also invented a “do-it-yourself” version of SDI. The technique provides a sequence of letters that cue a series of relatively unrelated words, which could potentially be customized to individuals. “My hope is that popular culture will absorb the notion that counting sheep is not effective, whereas SDI is,” says Beaudoin.
He will present his research, titled Serial diverse imagining task: A new remedy for bedtime complaints of worrying and other sleep-disruptive mental activity, at SLEEP 2016, a joint meeting of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society, in Denver, Colorado on June 14.
Luc Beaudoin, Faculty of Education (leaves for Denver on Monday but available by cell): 778.997.0612; email@example.com
Original article featured in SFU University Communications, Issues and Experts: Need better sleep? Consider the cognitive shuffle
Abstract and Poster
See the abstract and poster on this research topic: http://summit.sfu.ca/item/16196
2016, June (updated): The Cognitive Shuffle Project: Future Research
2016, May: For a good night’s rest, combine general sleep hygiene with mindful and cognitive techniques
2015, December: Sense of Place: Cognitive Productivity with Dr. Luc Beaudoin
2015, March: Surviving Daylight Savings with Dr. Luc Beaudoin
In the media
2016, September 26: To boost productivity and cognition in the Knowledge Age, prioritize Deep work, avoid the Shallows, and Self-Quantify
2016, July 27: Oprah: Doing This Can Take Your Mind Off Whatever's Keeping You Up
2016, July 20: CJAD 800: Aaron Rand Show
2016, July 18: CTV News: Can't sleep? Random images can help your worried mind
2016, July 15: The Guardian: Shuffle your thoughts and sleep
2016, July 6: New York Times: A Snooze-Worthy App Collection to Add to the Smartphone
2016, June 26: Global News BC: There’s a cure for that: Canadian doctor pushes for more wearable technology
2016, June 26: Globe and Mail: B.C. entrepreneurs develop wearable technology to improve health
2016, June 23: Forbes: Need More Sleep? Give These Two Hacks A Try
2016, June 15: NEWS 1130: SFU researcher develops technique to help induce sleep
2016, June 15; G'Day India: an app that puts you to sleep
2016, 14 juin; Phare Ouest: Le sommeil sous la loupe des chercheurs
2016, June 13; Gizmodo, India: Go to Bed Easy With Sleep Inducing App mySleepButton
2016, June 10; EurekAlert!: Need better sleep? Consider the cognitive shuffle