Posted on Thursday 2 April 2015
Professor Paul Gringras and Professor Tanya Byron at the launch of the sleep app
The first smartphone app of its kind to help children with sleep problems and their families was launched by Professor Tanya Byron at Evelina London Children’s Hospital yesterday (Wednesday 1 April).
Children and their families were invited to the launch event to be the first to use Kids Sleep Dr, the sleep diary app that allows parents to understand their child’s sleep patterns, track their progress and receive sleep tips personalised to their child.
Designed by sleep experts at Evelina London with technology company RMA Consulting, the app features an innovative finger-painting technique so parents can fill in their child’s sleep diary by ‘painting’ in the hours.
Research shows that most apps emit blue enriched light, which can postpone and disturb sleep. Kids Sleep Dr is the first app to use a unique colour palette that emits light that won’t disturb sleep.
Paul Gringras, Professor of Children’s Sleep and Neurodisability at Evelina London Children’s Hospital, says: “Studies show that around 20% of children have sleep problems that their parents find hard to deal with.
“With the exception of some of the more serious sleep disorders, many childhood sleep problems can be solved by parents once they have the confidence and knowledge to understand what is happening and how best to help.
“We developed Kids Sleep Dr based on feedback from hundreds of parents who we see in our clinic with children of all ages from newborn babies to 16-year-olds. I’m confident that based on this we’ve developed the best tool a parent could use to take control of their child’s sleep problems.”
Before the app was developed, parents had to fill in paper-based sleep diaries, taking anything between five and 10 minutes to complete daily, and 30 minutes each week to manually review.
Kids Sleep Dr allows parents to email summary reports, containing all relevant patient data, at the touch of a button from their smartphone.
Professor Tanya Byron, who spoke at the Kids Sleep Dr launch event at Evelina London, says: “Many children are affected by sleep problems, and this can have a major effect on the whole family. Getting a good night’s sleep is so important for a child’s physical and mental development, behaviour and concentration.
“Parents know their children better than anyone, and I’m confident that the Kids Sleep Dr app will help parents to understand and better manage their child’s sleep problems. It’s very accessible and easy to remember to complete. I’m sure that when parents get to grips with using the app, it could reduce their need to visit their GP or hospital and manage the problem themselves.”
Peter Lelliott, Managing Director of RMA Consulting, says: “When we learnt about Professor Gringras’s work and understood the extent of sleep problems in children, we wanted to help. Working closely with the Evelina London team, we created an app that’s not only engaging and delightful for people to use, but also highly effective. We’re very enthusiastic about the result.”
Kids Sleep Dr is available for download now on iOS, with an Android version to follow. Visit www.kidssleepdr.com for more information.