New App Can Improve Sleeping Habits among Veterans

Macalester College senior Tyler Skluzacek's father, who is a soldier, was having trouble while sleeping after he returned home from a tour in Iraq in 2007. Tyler and his team decided to develop an app to help Skluzacek's father. The app could track the sleep of veterans.

The app developed by the 21-year-old guy tracks heart rate and other movements that can predict when veterans experience night terrors. Tyler said he was inspired to create this app by his father who is an Iran war veteran.

Tyler told NBC affiliate KARE, "Your dad just disappearing for a year and coming back a little bit different.I have a real personal connection to the PTSD problem".

Tyler's father, Sgt. First Class Patrick Skluzacek, is a former convoy commander. His father presently suffers from night terrors and post-traumatic stress disorder. In order to help his father, Tyler and his friends Damola, Sarah, Brian and Sravya participated in a computer programming contest, called HackDC.

Tyler's team 'The Cure' spent thirty-six hours on coding. As a result, they created an app for smartwatches. The app was named 'myBivy', or Bivy, a short form of bivouac, a military term for a safe place to sleep.

The myBivy tracks sleeping patterns of soldiers. It even searches symptoms of the onset of panic attacks. The app then uses sound or vibrations to take them out of the deep sleep, but keep them asleep, said the makers.

The app won top position and earned $1500. The team presently has one complete functional prototype on the Pebble Time smartwatch and Android smartphone. The team is also raising money through Kickstarter to develop the app for a wider use.