Long days, late nights and poor sleep habits can wreak havoc on our health. But now at Northwestern, students have free access to a new app that helps improve sleep and harness daily energy levels.
The RISE app was developed by Rise Science, an energy optimization company co-founded by Northwestern alumni Jeff Kahn ’13, ’15 and Leon Sasson ’15 who developed a tool for those who struggle with sleep and a lack of energy the way they did as engineering students.
“We’ve known for a long time that sleep is a key health behavior that may college students sacrifice in order to make time for other activities,” said Kevin Meier, assistant director of Health Promotion and Wellness (HPaW). “Because of this, HPaW partnered with RISE this past year to raise awareness of the importance and impact sleep has on a person’s performance and overall well-being.”
RISE monitors sleep and energy levels from two angles: the user’s circadian rhythm and sleep debt. The circadian rhythm, in short, is the steady change in mental and physical behavior across a 24-hour wake and sleep rotation. By tracking this cycle in users, along with monitoring sleep debt, the deficit of sleep an individual accumulates over time, RISE works to show how sleep affects mental and physical health, allowing the user greater agency over their time management and daily decision making.
> Related: New app TimelyCare is Northwestern’s virtual mental health resource for students
“Any behavior change takes time and often requires more than one attempt to get things to stick and become a routine part of their lives,” Meier said. “Our hope is that by offering students four years of free access to RISE, we can break down barriers and help them feel empowered to try something new and make a change that can benefit them long-term.”
Here’s how to get started with RISE
For students interested in other resources beyond RISE that could help improve sleep, University Wellness Coaches are available via appointment to help students set goals that support overall wellbeing.
The free RISE offer is one of many ways that Northwestern is devoted to fostering an atmosphere of support for student’s mental and physical health needs. Last year, the University launched the TimelyCare app to expand students’ access to mental health resources on campus.
Similarly, Counseling and Psychiatry Services (CAPS) works diligently to provide a wealth of resources from crisis intervention, long-term therapy options and other valuable initiatives to best serve the needs of our student community.
In the case of a mental health emergency, students should contact CAPS at 847-491-2151. During office hours, you will be connected to a counselor. After-hours and during weekends, press “0” at the prompt, and you will be connected to the after-hours service. If you are in need of emergency medical attention, please call 911 immediately.
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