Can Fitness Trackers Detect Sleep Apnea?

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If you’re ever thought you may be suffering from sleep apnea, you’ve probably wondered if fitness trackers can indeed detect it. In this article, we will precisely answer that question. So, if you’ve been wondering can fitness trackers detect sleep apnea, here’s everything you need to know.

Can Fitness Trackers Detect Sleep Apnea?

Yes, fitness trackers are capable of detecting sleep apnea. Fitness trackers usually create multiple data points that further play a role in detecting and monitoring sleep apnea.

This idea is confirmed by a 2018 study conducted by the U.S National Library Of Medicine. According to this study, home testing devices (HSAT) plays a major role in evaluating and monitoring sleep patterns.

Fitness trackers usually track this condition with their in-built sleep tracking mechanism. Thanks to this feature, one can conveniently spot the patterns of their sleep.

Very often, the people experiencing sleep apnea are the last ones to know it, and that is exactly where a fitness tracker fills the gap. If the tracker indicates that you indeed have several disruptions in your sleep, it is best to get it further clarified with your doctor.

It has been observed that the sensors in the fitness tracker play the biggest role in tracking sleep. Usually worn along the wrist, these sensors take an account of every data collected while you’re sleeping.

This includes your heart rate, your overall breathing pattern, and finally the sleeping cycle. It also comes with a set of axis accelerators that monitor how you’re moving in specific directions. The data is further sent to your smartphone or laptop and is further managed and handled by the algorithms.

The symptoms of sleep apnea are probably most pertinent during sleep. At this point, the patient stops breathing several times causing the body to be triggered.

The result: airflow is restored to the concerned individual’s chest. At this point, your heart rate is elevated, and you wake up in a bid to gasp air. At this point, the optical sensors will detect how much time you’ve spent during every stage of your sleep.

This indicates your sleep quality, tracks breathing disruptions and underlines the signs of physical disorders like sleep apnea.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a medical condition characterized by interrupted or disrupted breathing while one sleeps.

If the issue is untreated for long enough, people are likely to experience more frequent bouts of interruptions in sleep. This usually results in your brain and other parts of the body not receiving enough oxygen.

If overlooked for long, it might even lead to significant fatalities like cardiac arrests. Usually overweight males with a broad neck size experience this condition. The chances are likely to higher if you’re over forty.

How Do You Track Sleep Apnea?

If you’ve asked this question, you’d probably want to know how exactly one can track sleep apnea. The tracking is much simple if you have a wearable or any other fitness tracking device. Next, you need to fasten them on your wrist.

Once you do this, the tracker or wearable will handle the rest. These devices are tailored to detect the number of times you’ve been restless throughout the night. This way, they also inform you about the total number of apneas you’ve suffered an entire night.

During an apnea, your body will completely stop breathing. Although ten to thirty periods of such restless are deemed normal, around five to more than thirty every hour might indicate severity.

You can view your results on the monitor/display of the wearable to track the apnea. The more advanced devices are also useful in tracking heart rate and sleep cycles. While checking the fitness tracker the following morning, check the number of hours you’ve spent in the REM cycle.

For the uninitiated, this is the cycle that helps treat fatigue and repairs your body for the next day. If you’re suffering from sleep apnea, the number of hours in the REM cycle will be significantly less.

Is There an App to Monitor Sleep Apnea?

Yes, there are plenty of apps that are specially tailored to help detect your sleep apnea.

One of the common options here is SleepTracker 24/7.

Currently available for both Android and Apple, this application is powered by AI technology that offers machine learning insights regarding your sleep.

The intelligent alarm will wake you just on time and the app will also monitor your heart rate, overall activities, and more. The biggest perk of this application is that it comes with a white noise generator that helps induce better and longer hours of sleep.

Another similar app is Sleep++. This free app can be integrated with your Apple Watch and it plays a vital role in measuring your sleep, periods of restlessness, the overall period of awakening and more. The application will display its results in a clear and simple graph.

This is easy to understand, and it’ll also help you assess where exactly you require attention. Other similar apps include Sleep As Android, Runtastic Sleep Better, Resmed MyAir and more.

These apps do not just track your sleep and sleeping patterns, but they also go the extra mile in helping you fall to sleep faster.

How to Cure Sleep Apnea?

There are many ways you can address your issue with sleep apnea. First, focus on losing weight. Many doctors have stated that obesity is one of the major causes of sleep apnea.

So, if you are grappling with this issue, consider losing your weight before anything else. Next, focus on changing your sleeping position. You can also try yoga for more help.

If you are looking at losing excess weight, your fitness tracker can also count calories too. Many can even work with the popular app, MyFitnessPal.

Finally, consider getting a tracking device so that you can monitor and control your issues regarding this medical condition. If the issue persists, it is best to consult a doctor.

Final Thoughts

Sleep apnea is certainly a major problem. But since you now have an answer to can fitness trackers detect sleep apnea’, you probably understand how exactly to address the issue.

The key here is to be relaxed. Once you are more relaxed, get the right fitness gear and make proper lifestyle changes, curing sleep apnea will be significantly easier.

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