Medical personnel at the COVID-19 tents at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital yesterday.

Carisa Lee

The pandemic has taken a lot out of many people in the last 19 months. For some, it was their freedom while for others, their livelihoods were affected.

While humanity has shown up to help those in need get back some of what was lost, there is one thing many people, especially frontline workers, may have lost since March 2020 but neglected it – that is sleep.

One company is seeking to bring relief.

Through his company Allegori Ltd, Kheston Walkins launched Recovery TT, a sleep training project designed to give back 15,000 to 20,000 hours of quality sleep to T&T residents over the next year in support of T&T’s pandemic recovery effort.

“We think that if we help people improve their sleep, we can actually accelerate the time for recovery for the nation because you give them the hours back,” Walkins, Chief NeuroInnovator at Allegori, said.

Allegori Online is student success technology that utilises Artificial Intelligence and neuroscience to significantly improve academic outcomes while improving mental wellness and peak performance.

“It’s non-invasive, we don’t put anything into your brain, we only record what’s there, it’s like a mic for the brain,” he said.

Walkins and his team have observed a 94 per cent success rate for training in the first two months.

So from November 6, this programme will be free to frontline workers in the areas of health, uniformed services and the media at CTS College in Chaguanas and Daniell Institute of Learning in Port-of-Spain where it was launched yesterday.

Walkins said lack of sleep can be the result of elevated levels of anxiety induced by the uncertainty of this time and many people who’ve never stopped serving us in the pandemic are affected.

“We can give back significant measured time sleeping. It is possible that with the resources we have right now to serve over the course of the next year, 3,800 people,” Walkins said.

But Walkins said with the support of the nation and sponsors, they can serve over 30,000 people. He said to meet this goal, a total of five focus labs across T&T will be required, along with an estimated US$150,000.

He said if these numbers were established system effects can be seen. ,

“Maybe less road accidents, because one of the challenges with road accidents is falling asleep because people are tired, less errors due to inattention, that’s important for industry and manufacturing and also important for medicine and all that is that your mind just went away for a bit,” he explained.

Walkins said the training takes up to 20-30 minutes.

Dr Debra Bartholomew, one of his clients, said she sought out Walkins herself after her son did a session with him.

“I distinctly remember having an hour to collect my kids from school and feeling really, really shattered and wanting to sleep and wondering how I was going to fall asleep and then I said okay, I am going to do the training and seven minutes and I had half an hour of blissful uninterrupted sleep,” she explained.

Dr Bartholomew said it was the first time in years that she was actually able to go to sleep and not toss and turn.

“I fully endorse this programme,” she said.

Walkins said all their equipment was bought by them and they are willing to use it. However, he said apart from sponsors, they need venue partners in East and South and diaspora support.

“For every subscription that you create, we will serve six people over the course of the next year and we made it in a way that companies and stuff can help their staff as well,” he said.

He said they are really committed to seeing T&T recover.

The website is: https://www.allegori.org/recoverytt