What’s the secret to being more productive, having more energy, and keeping your New Year’s resolutions this year? You may think it’s a brand new mattress, supplement or a little-known hack. But it’s something much simpler: the secret lies in your sleep and circadian rhythm.
Don’t just take our word for it, though. There are 100 years of sleep science research that agree. Studies show the most impactful things you can do to improve your energy levels—and therefore boost your productivity—include paying back your sleep debt, or the amount of sleep you’ve been missing out on relative to how much you biologically need, and taking advantage of your circadian rhythm, the natural peaks and dips in your energy levels throughout the day.
Startup founders Jeff Kahn and Leon Sasson know this. The pair met at Northwestern University and did academic research into the science of sleep. Once they discovered these two things can make such a difference to how we feel mentally, physically and emotionally, they decided to share it with the world.
At first, they worked with elite athletes, businesses, and sales teams. By improving their sleep, Jeff and Leon helped these groups achieve two Super Bowl wins, a 14% increase in revenue, and even helped 95% feel more productive at a Fortune 500 company.
Soon it was time to share this sleep knowledge with the rest of the world. So Jeff and Leon launched the RISE app in mid-2020. The app uses sleep science to help anyone track and pay down their sleep debt and optimize their days with their circadian rhythm.
RISE already has 1 million users who are using it to improve their energy, mood, and productivity. A whopping 80% say they feel and perform better within just five days.
Want to feel those benefits too? Here’s how RISE can help you be more productive in 2022.
RISE Focuses on the Things That Actually Make a Difference to Energy Levels
Most of the time when we’re feeling unproductive, it’s because we’re low on energy. But yet another cup of coffee isn’t going to fix that. Instead, RISE focuses on the two things that make the biggest difference to energy and productivity: sleep debt and circadian rhythm.
“Most of us know sleep is important, but thanks to scientific research that has been done, we also know if you want to get the benefits of sleep, it’s not your mattress or time spent in REM that matters,” said Jeff Kahn, CEO and Co-Founder of RISE. “The two most impactful things you can do to be and feel your best are to keep your sleep debt in check and plan your lifestyle with your circadian rhythm.”
Sleep debt refers to the amount of sleep you need to “pay back.” For example, if you need eight hours of sleep a night, but you’ve only been getting five, you’ll have built up quite a bit of sleep debt.
RISE determines your sleep need, or the number of hours you should be getting each night. Your sleep need is a genetically determined trait, so it’s unique to you. And it’s unlikely to be exactly eight hours a night.
On average, adults need about 8 hours 10 minutes of sleep a night, give or take 45 minutes. In fact, 13.5% of adults actually need more than nine hours of sleep a night.
Once RISE has calculated your sleep need, it compares it to the amount of sleep you’ve been getting to figure out your sleep debt. Then the app keeps track of your sleep debt as you work to pay it back.
And you may have heard of early birds and night owls, but the circadian rhythm goes further than that. Everyone has a natural rhythm to their energy cycles that includes peaks and dips throughout the day. Your circadian rhythm determines things like the times when you are most alert and can concentrate, learn new skills and remember things better—the key aspects of productivity.
RISE not only tracks this, but it lets you know each day when these peaks and dips will be and how long they’ll last. This way, you can plan your schedule to maximize your most productive hours. And by keeping sleep debt low, these productive peaks will be longer and higher.
RISE Uses Smart Technology to Give You Personalized Recommendations
Blanket advice like “get eight hours of sleep” doesn’t work for everyone. To really harness your productivity potential, you need to be doing exactly what works for you.
RISE gives you personalized suggestions for your sleep and how to structure your days. The app uses historical data on your phone to determine how much sleep you actually need and analyzes your phone-use behavior, or your wearable technology if you use any, to see how much you’ve been getting. It then calculates how much sleep you need to pay back your debt.
Next, RISE uses your sleep times and light exposure based on your location to work out your circadian rhythm. Armed with this information, and based on each night’s sleep, it predicts the next day's rhythm, so you can see when you’ll have the most and least energy in the day.
These personalized suggestions mean you can optimize your energy levels to get the most out of each day. You’ll never waste a productive window, and won’t feel guilty resting when your energy starts dipping.
RISE is a Sleep App That’s with You All Day
RISE is more than a sleep app, though. It’s an energy management app that helps you all day long. Each morning, the app sends you notifications predicting your circadian rhythm for the day ahead. This helps you schedule your tasks at the most suitable times.
You can also integrate RISE into your calendar or smart watch to quickly see your energy levels throughout the day. The app can even send you notifications for the best time to do demanding tasks, take a nap, have your last coffee or alcoholic drink of the day, and when to start winding down for bed.
“I no longer beat myself up for feeling sluggish at the sluggish times of day, and I’ve learned to schedule my workout and housework for those times. And hours I used to throw away at the end of the day, I use for thinking tasks. It really is cool how much I can get done this way!” — 5-star review.
RISE Helps Users Think About Productivity Differently
You’ve probably heard most of the age-old productivity advice before: wake up early, turn off notifications, work in Pomodoro sprints. But while these things can be useful for some people, they don’t really get to the root of the problem. They increase your productivity by tiny percentages—if at all.
If you’ve had a bad night’s sleep, no number of productivity hacks is going to help you get more done. And on the flip side, no matter how hard you try, you’re always going to be less productive in your natural energy dips than in your peaks. To maximize your productivity, it all comes down to getting enough sleep and working with your circadian rhythm.
Here are some of the myths RISE helps bust:
As much as we wish this was true, that’s not how our bodies and brains work. Circadian rhythms dictate our energy levels, and therefore how productive we can be. You’ll have two periods of high energy when you perform better and work comes easy. These are usually mid-morning and early evening.
And then you’ll have two periods of low energy when things feel a little harder and you’re better off resting or doing less demanding tasks—these are usually early afternoon and then in the evening before bed.
The tricky thing is: everyone has these peaks and dips at different times, and the timing may change for you each day, too. So the real productivity hack is scheduling your harder tasks—like creative, decision-making or analytical work like sales calls or presentations—for your energy peaks. Then schedule easier tasks—like emails, admin or even household chores and simply resting—during your natural energy dips. RISE will tell you when these are for you.
The opposite is actually true! Napping can boost everything from productivity to creativity, memory to confidence. One study found that taking a nap actually fixed the decreased alertness and performance caused by a lack of sleep at night.
However, the timing of your nap matters. RISE helps users plan when to nap by predicting when the natural afternoon dip in energy will be, and prompting them to get some shut-eye if they need it.
By sacrificing sleep, you may be gaining an extra hour or two in your day, but those hours—and then the next day—won’t be productive. RISE helps users get more done by focusing on paying back their sleep debt, which involves getting more sleep.
While it may seem counterintuitive, sleeping more can actually help you get more done each day. If your sleep debt is low, you’ll have much more energy in your productive energy peaks and your dips will be smaller and shorter. All this leads to feeling more alert and energetic throughout the day.
But it’s not just about feeling better. Getting too little sleep has been proven to negatively impact productivity in a huge way. Studies have found that you’re 400% more likely to lose your train of thought if you’re sleep deprived. And after just two nights of insufficient sleep, you’ll take longer to make decisions. Sleep deprivation also impacts the part of the brain responsible for problem solving, planning and organization—all of which are needed when you’re trying to achieve your goals and get more done.
Millions Use RISE to Get More Done Each Day
The company started off by helping businesses boost their productivity. Jeff and Leon worked with a sales team at a Fortune 200 company for five months to improve their sleep. The results? Almost everyone on the team, 95%, felt more productive at work.
The app then launched to the public in mid-2020 and immediately started getting up to 30,000 downloads each week, becoming one of the fastest growing consumer apps out there. Just 11 months after launching, it already had 1 million users who say RISE helps with everything from anxiety to mood, productivity to planning their day to achieve more.
Here’s what some users have to say:
“I’m not exaggerating when I say this app has changed my entire outlook on my sleep and my life in just 7 days.” — 5-star review (June, 2021).
“It has completely changed how I structure my day. What projects I work on and what errands I run on what time is based all on predictions I get from this app. It is absolutely accurate.” — 5-star review (January, 2022).
“Maintaining levels of productivity through the day and flexing my work around the hours of highest productivity has been a huge aid” — 5-star review (March, 2021).
Get More Sleep to Get More Done in 2022
Any app can promise to make you more productive, but only RISE has the real-life results to prove it can. RISE is set to grow even bigger in 2022. Become an early adopter to see how sleep science can help you achieve more than ever this year.
Learn more about Rise for sales teams.
RISE makes it easy to improve your sleep and daily energy to reach your potential