By David Saunders, Health Editor | UPDATED: 08:28, 08 July 2020
Withings Sleep, will track and provide detailed information about breathing disturbances experienced during the night.
Available to all current Sleep owners after performing an app update, the new feature charts their breathing disturbances over time and provides educational content to help users recognize the signs of sleep apnea.
The new feature acts as a first step towards Withings’ strategy to introduce even more advanced sleep diagnostics including sleep apnea detection, which affects 22 million Americans, 80% of whom are unaware they have the condition despite its potential for serious health impacts. Withings aims to add these capabilities by the end of 2019 subject to FDA and CE clearances.
Breathing disturbances are troubled breathing experiences in the night. They are fairly common but will mostly go unnoticed by people or attributed to annoying snoring which is usually deemed harmless.
However, when disturbances become more frequent and intense, they can impair sleep quality and be a sign of chronic illness such as sleep apnea, cardiovascular issues and even depression. The new Withings Sleep breathing feature provides users with an early warning system to allow them to identify hard to diagnose potential issues and where appropriate, seek medical advice.
Breathing disturbances is a free upgrade for Withings Sleep and was developed and extensively tested by leading sleep physician Dr. Pierre Escourrou within the Paris-Béclère hospital sleep lab using polysomnography (PSG) analysis, the gold standard of sleep diagnostics.
Withings Sleep is a sleek and nonintrusive mat that fits seamlessly under the mattress and after a one- time setup automatically provides an in-depth look at users’ nights by monitoring sleep cycles, tracking heart rate and detecting snoring.
The new feature monitors vital signs such as respiration and heart rate, as well as motion and snoring to track and chart the intensity of breathing disturbances throughout the night.
The Health Mate App rates the intensity of those disturbances from low to high and provides monthly charts where people can visualize occurrences and take any necessary actions, such as seeking medical care.
The app also provides educational content around breathing disturbances and their impact on sleep quality and overall health issues such as blood pressure, fitness and weight.
It also provides information on sleep apnea, its signs and correlation to more chronic conditions. By empowering people with data and information Withings aims to promote overall well-being and raise awareness on sleep apnea.
Breathing Disturbances, Sleep Apnea & The Impact of Health
Breathing disturbances become a significant issue as they become more frequent and intense and have the potential to be signs of a host of breathing-related sleep anomalies. These range from chronic or habitual snoring to upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS) to obesity hypoventilation syndrome (where people are not breathing sufficiently to oxygenate the blood) and sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is one of the most common, yet largely undiagnosed potentially serious sleep condition. According to the National Sleep Foundation, it affects 22 million Americans, and 8 out of 10 of them are not aware they have it. It is an involuntary halting of breathing that occurs while a person is sleeping and can lead to the loss of the ability to recover properly during sleep resulting in excessive daytime sleepiness.
When left untreated, it can lead to cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure, chronic heart failure and atrial fibrillation. It is also associated with type 2 diabetes, obesity and depression and increases the risk of having a heart attack, stroke or premature death by 2 to 3 times.
“Despite its prevalence and serious consequences, sleep apnea goes largely undetected as current tests are confined to the clinical and sleep lab environment,” says Eric Carreel, President of Withings.
“By allowing people to track the intensity of breathing disturbances, we are helping them identify warning signs early. This announcement is very important as it furthers our mission to bring medical grade analytics into the home and is the first step towards the medical certification of sleep apnea detection which we aim for by the end of this year.”
Breathing disturbances is available from March 12, 2019 to all current and future uses of the Withings Sleep device. Updates to the Health Mate App are freely available at the App Store and the Google Play Store, and Withings Sleep is available for $99.95 at withings.com, Amazon, and in local retailers.
Launched in 2018, Withings Sleep is an affordable Wi-Fi enabled sensor mat that fits under the mattress. It uses the ballistocardiography method to monitor heart and respiratory rates, as well as detect motion and snoring to provide a wealth of data and advice to help people track and improve sleep.
The Health Mate App shows users details of the length and quality of their sleep cycles (length of light, deep and REM sleep) as well as heart rate during the night and whether they snored.
They also receive a daily Sleep Score, using a 0-100 points system based on 6 key inputs including sleep duration, depth, interruptions, time to sleep, time to get up and regularity. The app even offers a Sleep Smarter Program, consisting of eight weeks of recommendations to improve sleep patterns, and allows users to create home automation scenarios through IFTTT.