Sleep is important for maintaining our health, allowing our body and brain to rest and process information from the day. A good night’s sleep happens in cycles, where we drift off from a lighter stage of sleep to deeper stages. REM sleep is the stage when we dream and our bodies don’t move except for our eyes (that’s why it is called Rapid Eye Movement: REM).
Interrupted sleep means we don’t get enough deep sleep. This can be due to waking up from noise, stress and anxiety, excitement, or by a condition called sleep apnea. If you have sleep apnea, you will wake up very frequently during the night due to falling oxygen levels. This can be because your airways are being blocked (obstructive sleep apnea) or due to your central nervous system (non-obstructive). Sufferers may not even know that they wake up since their body moves from a deep sleep stage to a lighter sleep stage.
Long-term sleep apnea can create a host of complications including stress, anxiety, gastrointestinal disturbances, pain syndromes, generalized fatigue, and decreased immune system function, among others.
Normally, if you are suspected of having sleep apnea you will go into a hospital or clinic to have a sleep study performed. Multiple factors are measured, such as oxygen levels, an EEG (to measure brain activity), and sometimes body movement. This means a lot of wires and machines attached to the body which can make it difficult to sleep!
Home test studies can also offer an initial indication of sleep apnea using blood oxygen levels, body movement, and heart rate which can show the stages of sleep. The CardiacSense medical watch is a multi-sensor array all contained in a simple watch format. Because it has sensors which can measure blood oxygen level (SpO2 monitor), body movement, and respiratory rate (breathing monitor), it is a powerful asset for home sleep studies alongside your other sleep monitoring devices.