Full Sleep is a comprehensive solution designed to help people with chronic sleep issues. Periodic wakefulness with an inability to get back to sleep is a symptom of insomnia—here, we’ll examine how Full Sleep addressed this symptom in our early trials .
Insomnia can cause difficulty in falling asleep, staying asleep, and/or sleeping long enough. It is very common, with about 30% of adults experiencing acute insomnia and 10% suffering from its chronic form.
Full Sleep was developed using proven principles of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) principles to address the underlying causes of insomnia During our early testing phase, a number of people struggling with sleeping through the night found relief after completing the Full Sleep program.
It's really been life-changing for me, and I'm very grateful I participated.
Full Sleep is a comprehensive, personalized 6week at-home program for people with ongoing sleep challenges (including difficulty staying asleep throughout the night). Built on a foundation of proven CBT-I (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia) principles, Full Sleep offers a range of tools that address the root causes of insomnia, help build new habits, and develop a healthy relationship with sleep.
The Full Sleep solution includes:
Full Sleep helps people navigate sleeplessness by getting to the source of sleep issues. Participants keep a sleep log that helps them assess their sleep problems, track their sleep, and guide their progress. A sleep coach walks them through the program, including a custom sleep schedule that helps them focus on their quality sleep instead of focusing on reaching a specific number of hours.
As the program progresses, participants receive daily reflections and information that equips them to better understand sleep. They also discover new tips and ideas that change how they think about rest and how to avoid common pitfalls experienced by people struggling with insomnia. They’re additionally encouraged to change their relationship with their bedroom. Instead of being a place for doing things like watching TV, phone scrolling, or working, users learn to associate the bed with sleep.
At night, REST prepares participants for sleep with techniques designed to help them relax, leading them through various wind-down and meditation methods like box breathing and progressive muscle relaxation (PMR).
If participants spend too much time in bed awake, REST encourages them to get up and find another activity until they’re ready to try sleeping again. This reaffirms that the bed is for sleeping—and not for worrying about sleep. Instead of working themselves in an anxious state, they can reset their minds with another task until they’re ready to give sleep another try.
During Full Sleep’s development phase, more than 50 people struggling with sleep issues went through the sleep program. Many of their struggles were related to an inability to stay asleep, instead waking up multiple times throughout the night.
The participants came from a variety of different backgrounds. A majority of them were retired, consistent with the data demonstrating that up to 75 percent of older adults report insomnia symptoms.
Many participants experienced relief from their sleep issues during the Full Sleep early trials. As we focus on factors that impact one’s ability to avoid undesired and unexpected periods of wakefulness during the night, we’ll highlight the specific success stories of the following participants:
Many people dealing with insomnia wake up throughout the night and struggle to get back to sleep. This is caused by a number of different underlying factors. Here are some of the most common factors addressed in our early trials.
Sleep anxiety is stress associated with insomnia and a lack of sleep, which often exacerbates the problem. One participant’s negative thoughts about sleep consumed her waking moments and contributed to the idea that her circadian rhythm was broken beyond fixing.
Feelings of dread or apprehension about sleep can make it more difficult for people struggling with sleep to relax and unwind. They can develop fatalistic ideas about their ability to develop normal sleep patterns. Sleep anxiety can make it difficult to fall asleep in the first place. But it also impacts one’s ability to fall back asleep after waking up in the night.
The CBT-I principles that make up the foundation of the Full Sleep program help participants understand the impact of sleep anxiety and help them develop healthy and accurate ways to think about sleep, providing ways for them to take their thinking under control. This helps them feel confident that if they should wake up during the night, they can fall back asleep quickly.
[Full Sleep] made me realize I wasn’t alone, and there are ways to fix my sleep problems.
Many people with insomnia will spend as much time in bed as possible, hoping for opportunities to sleep. In an effort to compensate for late-night wakefulness, Jean would go to bed as early as 7 pm. Ultimately, this made her symptoms worse, compounding the time she would lie awake at night and worsening her sleep anxiety.
Spending excessive time in bed unsuccessfully trying to sleep can often associate bed with worry rather than rest and impact your ability to have a single, uninterrupted period of sleep.
In alignment with CBT-I principles, Full Sleep improves sleep efficiency by limiting the time people spend lying in bed. With a custom sleep schedule, the program helps them focus on sleep quality instead of chasing after a specific amount of sleep.
The REST device also assists in this regard. When a participants have been lying in bed awake for too long, the device will encourage them to get up and find another activity until they’re ready to try sleeping again.
Since you’ve introduced me to my [schedule], I’m starting to see a difference.
While some prescription sleep aids are effective in the short-term, they can lead to long-term physical and psychological dependency. When Maggie couldn’t sleep, she’d take trazodone, a serotonin modulator.
The risks and drawbacks of relying on prescription sleep aids include:
People struggling with insomnia also sometimes self-medicate with over-the-counter sleep aids, cannabis, or alcohol. This is also not a healthy nor effective long-term solution to insomnia, and dependency on these substances becomes a barrier to sleep itself.
Prescription medications can be a helpful part of short-term strategy for some sleep issues, including difficulty sleeping through the night, but CBT-I is considered the more effective first-line treatment for insomnia. The Full Sleep program uses CBT-I principles to address the root causes of chronic insomnia while offering practical alternative solutions to common sleep aids.
As the study progressed and her sleep improved, Maggie found herself using the relaxation and wind-down techniques from the REST device rather than trazodone.
Sleep hygiene refers to one’s habits and environment surrounding sleep. This includes pre- and post-sleep activities and rituals, air temperature, light and sound levels, screen usage, food and alcohol consumption, bedroom use for non-sleep purposes, and many other factors.
Sometimes people with insomnia cope in ways that make their sleep hygiene worse and only compound the problem. As a result of not being able to fall asleep, they may spend their time in bed reading, working, or scrolling through social media—which further trains the mind to think of the bed as a non-sleep space.
Sleep hygiene can affect one’s ability to sleep through the night in many ways. For example, a TV or light left on can wake the sleeper up, and make it more difficult to fall back asleep.
How Full Sleep helps
Participants are taught sleep hygiene principles and encouraged to reform bedtime routines. Personal sleep coaches give tailored guidance, and the REST device gently prompts users to avoid poor sleep hygiene activities in the bedroom.
Many of the participants in the early trial saw their sleep hygiene improve through the Full Sleep program—including Denise, Jean, and Maggie. They stopped doing things like watching TV, reading, or looking at their phones in bed, focusing instead on practices that helped prepare their minds and bodies to stay asleep.
One of my friends has been in a sleep study for a year, and she didn't have as much information about sleep as I did.
One overwhelming element of insomnia is the powerlessness one can feel in addressing it. This is one reason that depression and insomnia are so closely linked, and both conditions can aggravate the other.
If left unaddressed, these feelings of futility can multiply the factors contributing to insomnia. Sleep anxiety increases when people see themselves as incapable of staying asleep at night, as does the tendency to self-medicate.
The Full Sleep program educates and empowers participants to train their bodies for sleep. Sleep hygiene tips help them to create the ideal environment for sleeping through the night. Sleep logging encourages them to monitor and manage their progress. Sleep efficiency training and bed resets show them how to align their schedule and habits for the best possible results. All of these elements can help individuals reframe their relationship to sleep
The [sleep logging] makes me know I’m getting better.
The cognitive part of this program has helped me to put more weight on the effects of negative thinking. [Challenging] your thoughts: that was really helpful.
Effective sleep is a necessary component for our quality of life, and it can be a struggle for many. But that struggle doesn’t need to define your life. If you struggle to fall asleep, stay asleep, and/or wake up feeling rested, it’s not hopeless. Others have overcome the same chronic insomnia issues with Full Sleep.