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Startup Develops App Using 100 Years Of Sleep Science, 80% of Users Start Feeling Better In Days

Meet the App Shrinking People’s Sleep Debt And Transforming How They Feel in Just 5 Days
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Nobody said getting enough sleep to feel energetic during the day was easy. But the common tools we use to try to sleep more—special mattresses, weighted blankets, meditation apps—don’t do much to help. More often than not, they’re quick fixes that don’t address the root of the problem, and they don’t use any real sleep science—which includes almost 100 years of research—to do it. 

RISE is different. It’s an app that’s not only backed by sleep research, it has its own studies that show how effective it is for everyone from elite athletes to ambitious entrepreneurs. 

Founders Jeff Kahn and Leon Sasson met at Northwestern University. The pair did academic research on sleep science and quickly became leading experts in the field. 

Before launching the app, they worked in the sports industry for half a decade, bringing their sleep science knowledge to elite athletes across the NFL, MLB and NBA, just to name a few. By making tweaks to both players’ sleep routines as well as habits throughout the day that impact sleep the most, Jeff and Leon were able to help them increase reaction time, reduce injury rates and—most importantly—improve their game. They even saw two Super Bowl wins and four National College Football Championship wins from players.

The TODAY Show on NBC reveals how players using RISE sleep more to win more.

Jeff and Leon knew that if sleep could work for athletes at the top of their game, it could work for anyone. They started working with sales teams on Fortune 200 and 500 companies and saw results like increased productivity, output, and even revenue. And so RISE was born, the app to help anyone improve their sleep and, therefore, their day. 

The app launched in mid-2020 and grew to 1 million users in just 11 months. Not only are users learning more about their sleep, 80% of them report feeling better within five days of using the app. 

RISE isn’t just another sleep tracker, the app is transforming how people treat sleep in the first place, and therefore, how they feel and perform the next day. Here’s how. 

RISE Busts Sleep Myths with the Latest Science 

There’s a lot of information out there about sleep and most of it, unfortunately, is wrong. No, not everyone needs eight hours of sleep a night. And no, you can’t survive on only five hours of sleep, even if you feel fine. 

In fact, one study even found that getting five hours of sleep for eight nights, which many of us easily do, reduces testosterone levels by 10% to 15%. That’s the same decrease as aging 10 to 15 years. And it’s not just testosterone, other hormones are compromised by undersleeping. Not meeting your sleep need disrupts healthy cortisol production, making it harder to wake up as well as fall asleep, leaving many in a vicious cycle of elevated cortisol and sleep loss that can cascade into a host of further health issues.

RISE works to bust common sleep myths like these by sharing science-backed information everywhere from its blog to within the app to straight from CEO Jeff Kahn himself, who’s vocal about just how important sleep is in any interview he gives.

Many sleep tools focus too much on quality of sleep, rather than the quantity. RISE focuses on sleep debt, which builds up when you don’t get enough sleep each night.

Jeff’s take? That many sleep tools focus too much on quality of sleep, rather than the quantity. RISE focuses on sleep debt, which builds up when you don’t get enough sleep each night. By calculating how much sleep debt a user has, and helping them pay it back night by night, the app helps users work on a metric that sleep studies show actually makes a difference to how you feel each day. 

And it’s working too: 80% of users feel better within five days. They’re not only sleeping for the correct amount of time each night, they’re feeling and performing better during the day. 

“RISE has been amazing for me. I’ve worked down 12+ hours of sleep debt in 2-3 weeks and I feel like a new person.” — This is just one of the countless positive testimonials from the app’s more than 1 million users

7 months after launch, RISE became one of the top 12 apps in Health & Fitness in the US, right behind Headspace.

RISE is Drastically Transforming How People View Sleep and Energy 

RISE isn’t just helping people sleep better for more daily energy, it’s transforming how people approach sleep and daily energy in the first place. 

Years ago, sleep was seen as optional—think “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” And things haven’t changed much since then. Early risers are still celebrated with everyone from Richard Branson to Michelle Obama waking up before sunrise to squeeze more into their day. 

But that’s not how productivity works. In fact, cutting down on sleep to get more done is the exact opposite of how productivity works. 

Take sales teams, for example. Conventional thinking might argue that staying up late at the office would result in more getting done. But RISE worked with one team to show them that’s not the case. 

A Fortune 200 company ran a five-month study in which some of its sales team used the app to improve their sleep. Almost all of them—95%—felt more productive at work. Sellers who paid back their sleep debt to less than seven hours increased their sales call volume by 50%. Users also generated an average of 14% more monthly revenue compared to those not using RISE.

RISE sends users timed notifications based on the previous night’s sleep to tell them the best time to do challenging tasks, take a nap, drink their last coffee and wind down for bed. 

Here’s what the company’s VP of Sales had to say about sleep: "Because we're a mature business, new tools and techniques can struggle to find a foothold and have the chance to deliver. I've never seen anything deliver the way sleep did.”

What’s more, a team at staffing company ManpowerGroup, a Fortune 200 company,  tried the app for 30 days. In that time, 86% said it made them more productive and effective at work, 86% said it helped them schedule their work and rest more effectively, and 75% said it made them better at coping with stress

RISE is proving again and again that getting more sleep actually results in getting more done.

★★★★★ A necessity
This is changing my relationship with sleep and therefore my life.
Before using RISE: I knew sleep is important. But I didn’t know what to do to improve it. Somedays I felt sluggish, some days I felt ok. Very rarely I felt fantastic and rested. I wanted to replicate those days so badly, but didn’t know what caused it.
After using RISE: feeling fantastic and rested is not happening rarely anymore, it’s becoming the new standard for me. I’m even going beyond what I ‘thought’ was fantastic. I look forward to going to sleep, because I know exactly what it will do to me the next day. And even when you let sleep slide for a bit because that’s life sometimes, you know exactly what to do to get back on track.
Unaffordable? What’s your health worth to you? Do you pay for Netflix? Prime? Spotify? Maybe take a look at your priorities and take back your life.


RISE Focuses on the Two Parts of Sleep That Actually Make a Difference 

Most sleep trackers deluge users with information they don’t really need like stress-inducing sleep scores, heart rate, and time spent in different sleep stages. Interesting information, sure, but it doesn’t do anything to change how you feel the next day. 

RISE approaches sleep health differently. It focuses on the two parts of sleep that studies show actually make a difference to your mental performance, physical health and emotional well-being: 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.” 

How exactly does RISE help users do this? First the app uses historical data on your phone to calculate the amount of sleep you need each night based on past sleep times. Next it works out your sleep and wake up times based on your daily phone use, or on data from wearable technology if you use any. From this, the app works out your sleep debt—the amount of sleep you owe your body.

Every morning RISE tells you how long you’ll be groggy, when your peak focus times will be, and when you should start winding down for better sleep and more energy the next day.

This way, users can monitor it and, with the help of in-app guidance, start paying it back, night by night, feeling better each time they get closer to getting the right amount of sleep for them. 

Using latitude, local light exposure and sleep times, RISE predicts users' circadian rhythm, too. With this, the app can help build an ideal daily schedule, taking into account their most productive times and the times when it’s best to rest, so they can always be working with their natural changes in energy levels.  


RISE Gives Users Personalized Sleep Advice 

We’ve all heard that we should get eight hours of sleep a night, but that’s actually not true. That magic number is different for everyone. 

RISE uses smart technology to calculate every users’ sleep need—the amount of sleep they need to be getting each night to live a healthy, happy, and productive life. Armed with this knowledge, users can work towards getting the amount of sleep their bodies and brains actually need, not what popular culture says is right for everyone. 

Next, circadian rhythms. Shun early risers or late-night hustlers and work out the best times you should be waking up and going to bed. RISE also helps users plan their day in between. It even integrates directly with Apple and Google calendars, as well as Apple Watch, so users can see when to make the most of their energy peaks and dips, making the most of each.  

After calculating their chronotype—whether you’re an early riser, night owl or somewhere in between—RISE sends users timed notifications based on the previous night’s sleep to tell them the best time to do challenging tasks, take a nap, drink their last coffee and wind down for bed. This way, they can plan their day to be in sync with their natural circadian rhythm and optimize their energy.

Users Can’t Stop Praising RISE

RISE has a loyal user base of more than 1 million people who love what the app does for their daily energy, and they’re not shy about sharing it:  

One user praised the app for the huge impact it had on their life: 

“This is the one thing that’s had the biggest impact on how I feel in 2021...Now that I follow my circadian rhythm and know when to prioritize sleep, I feel like a new person.” — 5-star review (May, 2021)

This user credits its power to make them feel superhuman:  

“If you’re conscious about your sleep and start to give more attention to it, this app has the power to make you become a super human!” — 5-star review. 

And even night owls with early-morning commitments can benefit from the app: 

“Being able to track my sleep has helped me get my life in order. Keeping my sleep debt low actually does have an overall effect on my energy for the day most of the time. I definitely recommend this app if you’re a night owl like me who works early mornings.” — 5-star review (August 2021)


RISE is the Sleep App Transforming People’s Nights and Days 

While new apps come and go all the time, RISE is rooted in sleep science and is bringing real results to users. More than 1 million people are already getting more sleep with the app, and using it to plan their days to make the most of their natural energy. Want to unlock your potential one good night’s sleep at a time? Download RISE to get started.



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About Rise
Rise is the only app that unlocks the real-world benefits of better sleep.

Instead of just promising a better night, we use 100 years of sleep science to help you pay down sleep debt and take advantage of your circadian rhythm to be your best.

Over the past decade, we've helped professional athletes, startups, and Fortune 500s improve their sleep to measurably win more in the real-world scenarios that matter most.

Rise Science is backed by True Ventures, Freestyle Capital, and High Alpha; investors behind category winners Fitbit, Peloton, and Salesforce Marketing Cloud.
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