Since I am still an extremely small content creator, I decided to look for apps that are far less known, or even under-the-radar. For the next installment of my app review series, I found a newer app called Sleep by Wysa. Let’s get into my first impressions.
If you’d like to see this content in video form, watch my YouTube video here.
(This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.)
Sleep by Wysa: Overview
Sleep by Wysa is an app (iOS or Android) dedicated to promoting sleep and relaxation. The app is a free download with limited capabilities, or you can explore all of their content with a 3-day free trial. For unlimited access to their content, there are three subscription options: $7.99 billed monthly, $49.99 billed annually, or a lifetime purchase for $99.99.*
*Note: the lifetime purchase appears to be on sale for $99.99. The actual price is $199. It is unclear if the sale price is a promotion for new users, or if the price is always $99.99 and they are using a sales tactic.*
This app touts itself as being an anonymous app. So when you open the app for the first time, it only asks you to give yourself a nickname. No email, phone number, or other kind of account required.
A unique offering through Sleep by Wysa is the ability to connect in real-time to a personal sleep coach. You can connect with a sleep coach once every 48 hours, and the cost seems relatively affordable: $10 billed weekly, $8 per week billed monthly ($32/month), or $6 per week billed quarterly ($72/3 months). This amount of billing flexibility means that you can use the service as much or as little as you need to, and you can cancel at anytime.
The content that is available include sleep stories, relaxation exercises, meditation exercises, and sleep/background sounds. For each content category, only the first story/exercise/audio is available if using the app for free.
Sleep by Wysa: Chat with AI
One of the major selling points of this app is its artificial intelligence (AI) chat feature. The app allows you to chat with their AI for help creating a sleep and relaxation routine, as well as for keeping a journal.
The quality of the AI seems pretty advanced. I can still tell that I’m chatting with a robot, but the AI’s responses are much more conversational than the typical AI.
In fact, Wysa (the parent company, and the name of the cute mascot) was originally a system developed to detect depression using machine learning models.
I can clearly see a benefit to this feature, especially if you are like me and have trouble sleeping, and want to share your thoughts with someone in the middle of the night. I’m particularly excited to try this feature as I continue my testing.
Sleep by Wysa: User Experience
The app has a beautiful visual design, and is very easy to navigate. I personally love the deep blue and purple tones of their design.
A quick note about their navigation: I would actually argue (as my first impression) that there are too many tabs to choose from. There is the main menu at the bottom of the screen. Additionally, there are more options toward the top of the home screen, which is where the chat AI features are housed. And on top of that, there are more settings and options by clicking the icon in the top right of the screen.
I personally would prefer the menu was simplified somehow, or only in one location. I will see if these multiple menus inhibit my usability of the app as I test it (and this is why I give a first impressions, and then an in-depth review later).
Wysa versus Sleep by Wysa
Wysa, as mentioned above, is the parent company. They have been around for about two years and have more than one million users. Wysa is a separate app from Sleep by Wysa, with Sleep by Wysa being much newer to the market; it was released on the Google Play Store in October 2019.
I downloaded Wysa to compare it to Sleep by Wysa. Wysa markets itself as a mental health support app. However, when looking through Wysa’s content, it appears to contain the same content as Sleep by Wysa. In other words, Sleep by Wysa (which is the newer app) appears to be a repackaged version of their original app with their dedicated sleep content at the forefront.
Again, these are just my first impressions, and I will research this further for my upcoming in-depth review. But this put up a little bit of a red flag for me. If Wysa and Sleep by Wysa essentially offer the same content, why did they need to make a separate sleep app? Furthermore, the pricing structure of the two apps are slightly different; but, if I have a paid subscription to one app, can I have access to both apps?
Just to be clear, I’m not questioning the quality or integrity of the apps or the company. Wysa has been highlighted by some major news outlets and their technology seems to be cutting-edge. As a reviewer, these are just the types of questions I should be asking. I will hopefully have some answers and clarifications for my in-depth review.
I’m excited to try this app and see how their content helps me sleep. I also want to determine, if possible, how their content is different from other apps.
I’m most excited to explore all of their chat AI features, which I think is the aspect that really sets this app apart from the competition.
In general, this app is really a mental wellness app. They have content specifically tailored for sleep and relaxation, but they also have content tailored for loneliness, pregnancy, minimizing anger, and several others as well. I will try as much of their content as possible (though I will have to skip the pregnancy exercises, for obvious reasons).
Stay tuned for my upcoming in-depth review. Also, let me know what other sleep and relaxation apps you like and/or want me to review.