RISE Sleep Tracker
One of Apple's Best Apps of 2024

Is the RISE Sleep App Worth It? Yes, If You Want More Energy

RISE tracks metrics whose improvement is proven to make a difference in your day and gives you personalized guidance to help you achieve those improvements.
Written by
Jeff Kahn, M.S., Rise Science Co-Founder
Reviewed by
Chester Wu, MD, Rise Science Medical Reviewer
Our Editorial Standards
We bring sleep research out of the lab and into your life. Every post begins with peer-reviewed studies — not third-party sources — to make sure we only share advice that can be defended to a room full of sleep scientists.
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Updated Regularly
We regularly update our articles to explain the latest research and shifts in scientific consensus in a simple and actionable way.

Is the RISE Sleep App Worth It? 

  • Yes, the RISE sleep app is worth it. RISE focuses on the two key metrics—sleep debt and circadian alignment—that, when improved, make the biggest different in how you feel. It then helps you improve these metrics with personalized guidance and tools like a smart alarm, sleep sounds, and timed sleep hygiene reminders.
  • RISE tracks sleep debt by working out how much sleep you personally need. This makes it much more accurate and useful than other trackers, which use self-set sleep goals or generic sleep guidelines.
  • RISE doesn’t track time spent in different sleep stages or sleep quality because these metrics don’t make a difference to how you feel and function each day, and  they can’t actually be tracked accurately by apps or wearables anyway. 
  • RISE costs $69.99 a year, which works out at $5.83 a month. For the cost of a cup of coffee, you’ll get more sleep, more energy, and more productivity day after day. Plus, you can learn a lot about (and improve) your sleep and energy during the seven-day free trial. 

Evaluating sleep apps and trackers is no easy feat. For one to be worth investing in, you want to make sure it works, that it provides enough useful features, and that it’ll make a real difference in how you feel. 

RISE ticks all of those boxes. The app focuses on the sleep and energy metrics that sleep research shows matters when it comes to your health and productivity: sleep debt (the amount of sleep you owe your body) and circadian alignment (how in sync you are with your circadian rhythm, or body clock). And it gives you plenty of tools and personalized guidance to improve them to feel and perform better each day. 

Below, we’ll dive into what makes a sleep app or tracker worth it and why RISE fits the bill. 

Buyer’s Guide: What Makes a Sleep App or Tracker Worth It? 

Here’s what to consider when weighing up if a sleep app or tracker is worth it:

  • Does the app or device track the right metrics? Many sleep trackers don’t track the right metrics or they don’t track them accurately. Their sleep data might be interesting, but it’s insufficient.
  • The RISE app focuses on what research shows are the two biggest factors affecting your productivity and wellbeing: sleep debt and circadian alignment.
  • Does the app or device help you improve those metrics? Just tracking metrics or improving the wrong metrics won’t make a difference.
  • The RISE app gives you tools and personalized guidance on how to lower sleep debt and get in sync with your circadian rhythm. This is what will help you feel and function better— probably why you want to track sleep to begin with.
  • Does the app or device come with any other useful features? To get value for your money, look for features that help you improve your sleep debt and circadian alignment.
  • With the RISE app, you get sleep sounds, a smart alarm clock, recommended sleep and wake times, the ability to sync with other wearable devices and apps, and more.
  • How much does the device or app cost? When considering if the price is worth it, think about how much you’d pay for more energy and productivity each day. Look for hidden costs and whether you need to buy a wearable device to make a tracker work.
  • For the cost of a cup of coffee a month, the RISE app helps you unlock the energy, health, and productivity that comes with lowering your sleep debt and syncing up with your circadian rhythm. You can also try RISE free for seven days to see if the tracker is right for you.
  • Does the app or device have good reviews? Find out if others think the sleep app or tracker is worth it.
  • The RISE app has thousands of five-star reviews, and industry awards and recognitions.
  • Does the app or device or app come with a wearable or sleep-tracking device? To make some sleep apps work, you’ll need to sleep with a wearable or a device, like a special mattress or sleep pad. Consider if this is worth the extra money as well as if it’s worth the effort setting it up, charging it, and remembering to sleep with it.
  • The RISE app syncs with other wearables and sleep apps if you have them, but you get all of the benefits of RISE as a standalone app.

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Key Metrics Worth Tracking: Sleep Debt and Circadian Alignment 

As we’ve said, the metrics that make the biggest difference in your days are sleep debt and circadian alignment. That makes these two metrics very worth tracking and improving!

Low sleep debt and circadian alignment benefit every aspect of your health and wellbeing, including:

Improving one or the other can help you feel and function better, but the real magic happens when you lower your sleep debt and get in circadian alignment together. 

Heads-up: You might be wondering where sleep quality and time spent in sleep stages like deep sleep and REM sleep come into this. We’ll cover these in more detail later, but, in short, you only really need to focus on sleep debt and circadian alignment. 

Here’s how RISE helps.

Sleep Debt 

Your sleep debt is worked out by comparing how much sleep you get to how much sleep you need — known as your sleep need. Many sleep trackers (like Whoop and AutoSleep) use generic guidelines or self-selected goals to determine your sleep need. 

RISE, on the other hand, uses a year’s worth of your phone use behavior and sleep science based algorithms to give you an accurate sleep need number. 

This number can vary for everyone. For example, among 1.95 million RISE users aged 24 and up, sleep needs ranged from five hours to 11 hours 30 minutes. 

The RISE app can tell you how  much sleep you need.
The hours of sleep RISE users need.

RISE tracks your sleep duration by one of three methods: 

  • Tappigraphy: Phone use (which may be more accurate than movement).
  • Mattress-based actigraphy: Movement from your phone’s accelerometer. 
  • Data from wearables: If you have an Apple Watch, Garmin, Fitbit, or Oura Ring.  

If you forget to sleep with your phone on your mattress or with a wearable, RISE automatically uses tappigraphy to track sleep, so you’ll never lose a night of sleep data. 

Sleep debt is then worked out over the course of 14 nights. This more accurately represents how sleep debt affects your energy levels — lingering sleep debt from last week can make you feel tired today. 

Some sleep-tracking apps give you long reports, complicated graphs, and mysterious sleep scores based on multiple metrics and a company’s own scoring system. 

This can be fun to look at, but their utility ends there. They aren’t tracking your sleep in any scientific or medically relevant way and don’t provide any actionable advice to improve your sleep and energy. 

RISE sticks to the science and gives sleep tracking purpose. 

You’ll have one sleep debt number to focus on — view it in the app, on a widget on your iPhone home screen, on your iPad, or on your Apple Watch. 

Learn how to evaluate the best sleep debt tracker here.

RISE app screenshot showing how much sleep debt you have
RISE tracks your sleep debt.

RISE users on iOS 1.202 and above can view their sleep need here and view their sleep debt here.

Circadian Alignment  

By knowing the timing of your circadian rhythm, you can see the best times to go to sleep and wake up for you. If followed, this helps you fall asleep, wake up easier, and stay in sync with your circadian rhythm. You’ll also see when your energy levels will rise and fall and your most productive times, so you can optimize your day to match. 

RISE is the only sleep tracker that works out your circadian rhythm. 

Some sleep trackers provide a readiness or recovery score, but this fixed measure of energy doesn’t take into account how your energy levels fluctuate. And these scores are often based on multiple mysterious metrics, so it’s hard to know how to improve them.

RISE predicts how your energy levels will change across the whole day. The app works out the timing of your circadian rhythm using recent sleep times, your inferred light exposure, and algorithms built on the SAFTE model, which was developed by the US Department of Transportation and the Department of Defense.

You’ll see a visualization of your daily circadian rhythm, showing you when you’ll have peaks and dips in energy across the day and your optimal sleep and wake times.

Getting in sync with these times can boost productivity, energy, performance, and health. 

RISE also gives you an Energy Potential score on a scale of zero to 100. This is directly tied to your sleep debt, so you’ll not only have an idea of what your energy levels will be like, you’ll know how you can get more energy (by lowering your sleep debt).

Plus, you’ll get reminders of when to do certain behaviors known as sleep hygiene. These reminders are timed to your personal circadian rhythm each day, making them more effective. 

For example, you’ll learn when exactly to have your final coffee or last meal of the day, which will help you keep sleep debt low and stay in sync with your circadian rhythm. 

We cover more about how RISE predicts your circadian rhythm here.

RISE app screenshot showing your energy peak and dip times
RISE predicts your circadian rhythm each day.

RISE users on iOS 1.202 and above can see their circadian rhythm on the Energy screen here

Metrics Not Worth Tracking: Time Spent in Sleep Stages and Sleep Quality 

It’s not worth tracking the amount of time spent in each sleep stage — deep sleep, light sleep, and REM sleep — or sleep quality. Here’s why. 

Sleep Stages

There isn't enough evidence to know whether the amount of time you spend in different sleep stages makes a difference to how you feel during the day.

There also aren’t set times for how long any one individual should spend in certain sleep stages. And there’s a lot of variability between people and the amount you personally need can change from night to night.

You also can’t control how your brain moves through sleep stages. 

You can focus on getting enough sleep overall. Getting enough sleep for you on a regular sleep schedule (i.e. low sleep debt and circadian alignment) will ensure you’re getting enough of each sleep stage.

Beyond this, research shows sleep trackers aren’t that accurate at tracking time spent in different sleep stages. They can track sleep debt and circadian alignment, though. 

Sleep Quality 

There isn’t a set definition for sleep quality, so many sleep trackers often use their own scoring systems based on multiple metrics. Third-party sleep quality scores don’t have any proven relationship to how you feel and function either. 

Research shows how you feel about your sleep can make a difference, though —  so you can self-rate your sleep quality in the RISE app.  

Heads-up: Time spent in sleep stages and sleep quality can’t help diagnose a sleep disorder like insomnia or sleep apnea. Sleep debt can be a useful metric to show sleep loss, but it’s best to speak with a doctor or sleep specialist. 

Learn more about sleep tracking here, including why it’s not worth tracking sleep stages or sleep quality. 

How Sleep Stages and Sleep Quality Are Reflected in Sleep Debt

Sleep debt and circadian alignment reflect other sleep metrics. 

The lower your sleep debt and the more in sync you are with your circadian rhythm, the more likely it is that common markers of sleep quality assessed in clinical and research settings — such as sleep latency, sleep efficiency, sleep duration, and the frequency and severity of sleep disturbances — are within optimal ranges, indicating better overall sleep quality. 

And getting enough sleep for you overall, at a regular time each night, means you’re more likely to get enough of each sleep stage.

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How Does RISE Help You Get Better Sleep and More Energy? 

For a sleep tracker to be worth it, it needs to accurately measure what matters and then help you make a difference in your life. RISE gives you guidance, based on your own biology, to help you lower sleep debt and get in sync with your circadian rhythm, so you feel more energy each day. 

Here’s how: 

  • 20+ sleep hygiene habit reminders: These sleep habits are proven to help you become a better sleeper, falling asleep faster and waking up less often in the night. Choose which notifications you’d like and RISE can let you know when it’s time to have your final coffee and when to get and avoid blue light, for example, all at the right time for your circadian rhythm, which makes these habits even more effective. 
  • A prediction of your Melatonin Window (your ideal bedtime): This is what we call the roughly one-hour window when your body’s rate of melatonin production — the sleep hormone — is at its highest. Try heading to bed at this time for an easier time falling and staying asleep at the right time for you and staying in sync with your circadian rhythm. 
  • A gentle smart alarm: RISE’s alarm tells you, right as you’re setting it, whether your wake time will add to your sleep debt. Then, come morning, wake up to gentle alarm sounds or vibrations.
  • Relaxation exercises and sleep sounds: Sleep sounds like white noise and breathing and relaxation exercises like diaphragmatic breathing, autogenic training, and progressive muscle relaxation can keep stress in check and help you wind down and drift off faster.
  • Support shifting your sleep patterns: If you want to become a morning person or get over jet lag, RISE can make it happen faster. You can also get a suggested bedtime, based on your needs, that slowly shifts earlier to train your body to get more sleep. 
  • A daily prediction of your energy levels: As part of your circadian rhythm, you’ll see when morning grogginess is expected to end and when energy levels are expected to rise and fall each day. You’ll know the best time to take a nap, workout, or take a break, and the times when you’ll be most productive
Sleep stats of RISE users
Regular RISE users have less sleep debt.

Other Features That Make RISE Worth It 

RISE has plenty of features making it great value for money, and — most importantly — each feature helps you improve your sleep debt and circadian alignment in some way. 

Other features include: 

  • Partner Connect: See how much sleep debt your partner (or anyone else you’d like to sync with) has and keep each other accountable.
  • Calendar integration: See when your energy peaks and dips will be right from your calendar, so you never miss your most productive times. 
  • Syncing with wearables and sleep apps: RISE can sync with Apple Watch, Oura Ring, Garmin, or Fitbit directly, or with devices like an Eight Sleep mattress indirectly through Apple HealthKit. RISE can also sync with some sleep apps, like Sleep Cycle
  • Using RISE on other devices: See RISE’s sleep and energy insights on the app, your iPad, a widget on your iPhone home screen, or on your Apple Watch. With the RISE Apple Watch app and complication you can set your RISE alarm from your Apple Watch and get habit notifications on your wrist. We make the case that RISE is the best sleep app for the Apple Watch here.


RISE costs $69.99 for a yearly subscription, which works out at $5.83 a month

For the cost of a cup of coffee a month you’ll have access to all of RISE’s features to unlock the energy, health, and productivity that comes with lowering your sleep debt and syncing up with your circadian rhythm. 

That’s much cheaper Netflix — which is probably cutting into your sleep time — and some sleep trackers.

You might even save money (no more Starbucks trips every afternoon) or make more money (hello, extra productivity at work). 

You don’t need to buy a wearable to make RISE work and there are no hidden costs. 

You can also try RISE for free for seven days

For free, you can find out:

  • Your individual sleep need
  • How much sleep debt you have
  • Daily predictions of your circadian rhythm and energy fluctuations 

During your free trial week, follow RISE’s personalized 20+ sleep hygiene reminders, suggested sleep and wake times based on your biology, and science-backed relaxing content to see how much more sleep you could get and less exhaustion you could feel. 

Some users even fix their sleep schedules during their RISE free trial, making it very worth your time. 

RISE delivers value straightaway — 80% of RISE users feel more energy within five days! — but you’ll get even more value from the app when you consistently use it to keep your sleep debt low and stay in sync with your circadian rhythm.

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RISE users agree the app is worth using: 

  • “RISE is, far and away, the most useful app I've ever subscribed to and the features and resources it provides its users are beyond incredible…it guides you step by step and, unbelievably, without being intrusive and overwhelming. Best possible product and therefore my highest possible review.” Read the review.
  • “My productivity has gone up because I have lunch and go for a walk and exercise in my energy dips. This keeps me working during my most energetic phases of the day. I also aim to get to sleep in my Melatonin Window, which has worked out to more sleep overall than I’ve ever gotten in my life.” Read the review
  • “This app has changed my life. I never realized how much sleep I actually needed, and how sleep loss accumulates to detrimental effect. Since I got my debt under control, I have more energy, am no longer crashing or napping, drinking less coffee, and my days feel more productive. If you think this app is expensive, it’s really not, for what you get in return.” Read the review
  • "Life Changing I’m a very poor sleeper. Not quite insomnia but close. The scheduled ups and lows are so useful for scheduling activities like chores and the gym. It explains why I feel so sluggish sometimes and then 5 minutes later I have energy. Also good for work schedules. Sometimes you don’t have any control but you can try. Great app. Worth the cost." Read the review.

Beyond users, big names agree RISE is a worthwhile app. Sleep Foundation and Sleep Doctor called RISE one of the best sleep apps of 2024, and Apple nominated it for a design award and named it an Editor’s Choice app.

More Energy Is Always Worth It 

If you’re looking for a sleep tracker that’s worth your time, money, and effort, you want one that tracks and helps you improve the metrics that matter: sleep debt and circadian alignment. 

RISE does just that. The app works out your unique sleep need, tracks your sleep debt each night, and predicts the timing of your circadian rhythm each day. 

You’ll then get personalized guidance on improving these metrics and plenty of features to help you get better sleep and more energy — two goals that are always worth pursuing. 

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RISE makes it easy to improve your sleep and daily energy to reach your potential

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Try 7 days free

The power behind your next best day

RISE makes it easy to improve your sleep and daily energy to reach your potential

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