Update 10/13/14: We have been advised that this app update is temporarily on hold.

SleepRate, which offers sleep improvement plans based on methods from the Stanford Sleep Clinic via smartphone apps, has released a major update to its Sleep Improvement Plan to help people with Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS) get quality sleep. Also known as Night Owl Syndrome, DSPS causes daytime sleepiness that can contribute to irritability, long-term health issues, lost productivity, and serious injury or accidents.

In a press release, SleepRate says the new offering bolsters its ability to treat psycho-physiological sleep disorders. SleepRate detects if a person has DSPS, various forms of insomnia, a combination of both, or other sleep issues by monitoring and analyzing a person’s heart rate over the course of 5 nights, the company says. Once the issues are detected, a personalized Sleep Improvement Plan is generated based on cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) protocols exclusively licensed from Stanford University School of Medicine, Psychiatry, and Behavioral Sciences. This non-pharmaceutical approach guides people through a series of sleep-related behavioral changes to readjust the biological clock, increase sleep drive, and reduce nighttime alertness to achieve healthy sleep.

The addition of DSPS to the Sleep Improvement Plan introduces specific goals for Night Owls, including:

  • Wake up anchor: Wake up at the same time every day (including weekdays and weekends) to help stabilize the internal sleep clock. This will increase sleep drive once it’s time to go to bed.
  • Light Therapy: Expose yourself to 45-60 minutes of light immediately after waking up. This will cue the brain that it’s time to be alert. Make this a constant to help reset your internal sleep clock and wake up feeling rested and more alert.
  • Create a buffer zone before bedtime: Unwind from a busy day by engaging in enjoyable, relaxing activities 1 hour before bedtime.
  • Go to bed only when sleepy: If you’re not feeling sleepy, you should continue with your relaxing activity until you do. (Chasing sleep is not an effective sleep technique.)

“40% of our customers have some form of DSPS, and now we’re able to offer them a more specific treatment plan based on their Night Owl tendencies,” says Uli Gal-Oz, CEO of SleepRate, in a release. “Our bodies are biologically programmed, through circadian rhythms, to sleep at night and be alert during the day. This addition to our Sleep Improvement Plan will help millions of people with DSPS normalize their sleep schedule.”

SleepRate is available for free in the App Store and works with all devices that have iOS 7+ installed. The full SleepRate Sleep Improvement Kit is available at www.sleeprate.com or on Amazon.