Home Insights Health and wellbeing How Smartwatches Help With Detecting Sleep Apnea

How Smartwatches Help With Detecting Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea and lack of sleep can have serious health consequences. Luckily, digital health gadgets and smartwatches can be helpful. Discover all they have to offer.

Smartwatch sleep apnea main

Sleep is mandatory for everyone to maintain physical and mental health. Even animals will ultimately die they are sleep deprived. Maintaining good sleep patterns is critical to avoid critical illnesses. People tend to think that working out and eating healthy is enough for general wellness; despite being helpful, that’s not the only way.

Sometimes ensuring you get enough sleep will take you a long way on your wellness journey. However, thanks to technology, there are sleep tracking devices available to help you get back to restful nights. They include smartwatches and bedside monitors.


One of the many severe sleeping disorders is sleep apnea. Its symptoms include periodic stops and starts in breathing patterns. It’s caused by a lack of movement from the muscles that control breathing patterns or from blockage of the airway. It can happen several times in a night.

Sleep apneas can have severe health consequences

This leads to exhaustion during the day in people who suffer from sleep apnea since they lack sufficient rest. Sleep apnea carries a lot of dangers in cardiac health. It increases the risk of heart failure, atrial fibrillation, coronary heart disease, and stroke. If not treated, it can lead to an increase in fatal cases linked to heart disease. Most people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are usually obese; however, even slender people can suffer from it.

Sleep apnea affects your cardiovascular health by causing your oxygen levels to go down drastically due to the periods when you aren’t breathing. Therefore the body releases adrenaline which is a stress hormone. With sleep apnea, breathing stops continuously, leading to high blood pressure because adrenaline levels are always high.

Technology can help in getting back to sleep

The good thing is there are effective treatments available for the condition. A bedside machine called a CPAP is one of them; it works by preventing blockage of airflow and breathing muscles from collapsing. You get air from it through a face mask. That type of treatment is known as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), and it has proved to be effective for a lot of people.

There are also mouthpieces or sleep mouthguards that prevent the airway from blocking. Central sleep apnea is another form of sleep apnea that affects people with conditions such as heart failure. It affects people due to sodium and water retention. A lack of sleep is brought about by the fluid entering the lungs hence the shortness of breath.

Most people suffering from sleep disorders will end up being less productive while working. This leads to procrastination, and a lot of work is delayed or gets put on hold. A significant number of working days are lost due to people not getting enough sleep, which significantly affects the United States economy. If people try and get at least seven hours of sleep every day, it can boost the economy. There can potentially be $226.4 billion added to the economy, which is quite a significant boost. The number of working days lost every year is equivalent to almost 1.2 million dollars due to people not having regular sleeping patterns.


A lot of people are investing in smartwatches now for fitness purposes. You will see it being recommended as a way of helping with sleep disorders. However, you might be asking yourself, “how can a smartwatch detect sleep apnea?” It’s simple when you wear a smartwatch; it keeps track of your heart rate the whole time. If there are any issues with your heart, such as your pulse being too high or too low and an irregular heartbeat, it will notify you.

Therefore, it becomes very efficient to wear it at night when you’re asleep if you’re suffering from sleep apnea. Since oxygen levels drop with the sleeping disorder, the smartwatch will keep track of your oxygen levels throughout the night. It also evaluates your sleep patterns to ensure they’re at a healthy level. That unique characteristic in smartwatches helps with the detection and controlling of sleep apnea.

Pillows are getting smart

You’ll be able to see if you’re exhibiting any patterns of sleep apnea while wearing it. This will help you know whether you need to visit a doctor for some tests and possibly get some sleep medicine. You’ll then be advised on the best ways to control it and the best gadgets to use. Other sleeping devices help track your sleep, such as smart pillows. They play several roles to help with sleeping disorders.

Moona Cooling Pillow

They’re effective with reducing snoring, monitoring your sleep patterns, and even playing sounds to help you fall asleep through working with other smart devices around your home. They’re made with tencel covers which help with controlling the temperature and offering extra softness. Smart pillows analyze your snoring sounds caused by sleep apnea. Through helping with observing your sleeping habits, you can then get medical help. When your snores are too loud, the smart pillow will vibrate gently. This leads you to get into another sleeping position to have your airways clear and highly functioning.

Oximeters dedicated to sleep monitoring

Sleep trackers such as the O2ring by Wellue keep track of your oxygen levels while you’re asleep without being intrusive. It features a pulse oximeter that measures oxygen saturation. The O2ring is designed to fit anyone perfectly as they sleep at night without coming off while sleeping. It measures oxygen saturation between 70-99 percent and a pulse rate between 30-250 BPM. It also monitors your heart rate and heart rate variability (HRV) every second. There’s also an app available for both Android and iOS. The ring synchronizes with the app through Bluetooth once you take it off. You can adjust vibration levels using the app to wake you up when your heart rate is at an abnormal rate, and your oxygen levels are too low.

Wellue O2ring review

You get metrics on your sleep patterns through the app that’s integrated with the sleep tracker. All the data is recorded at night while you sleep, and it includes the lowest level of SpO2 and the average HR and SpO2. For convenience, it is even possible to share the metrics with your physician as a PDF/CSV file.


When you first look at the Withings Scanwatch, you may think of it as an analog watch. The minimalist design is smart and elegant. It’s yet to receive FDA approval in the United States due to clinical studies’ pending results. The Scanwatch, however, has been clinically validated in Europe and is CE-marked.


  • It’s built with the capability of recording electrocardiograms. If you have any signs of suffering from atrial fibrillation, it will let you know early enough. The readings are sharable with your general practitioner.
  • Your heart is proactively scanned throughout the day while it monitors your heartbeat to see any irregularities.
  • The Scanwatch has a respiratory scan feature responsible for measuring your oxygen saturation, pulse rate, and the frequency of your breathing while you’re asleep. If the watch indicates high levels of sleep disturbances, it might be a sign that you’re suffering from sleep apnea. All the data collected is computerized through the exclusive algorithm that the watch uses.
  • If you suffer from sleeping disorders and irregular sleeping patterns, the Scanwatch will help you keep track. Its sleep monitoring technology automatically detects when you’ve fallen asleep and hence starts monitoring all of your sleep cycles. If you experience any interruptions that lead to you not getting enough sleep, it will detect all of them.
  • The app that’s linked to the Scanwatch will show your metrics for the whole night and what sleep score you’ve achieved. You can also use the watch as an alarm to help you wake up.


  • The display of the watch is a bit small. This is for people who prefer a much bigger display when it comes to health monitoring gadgets.
  • The advanced fitness features the scanwatch offers are minimal, and adding more features would be helpful.


With the advancements in technological innovations, many devices can help track your sleep. If you have trouble sleeping, help in identifying what the underlying issues are. They are also useful in improving the quality of your sleep. However, sometimes the levels of sleeping disorders you might be suffering from might be too severe and lead to critical long-term illnesses.

Conditions like sleep apnea can easily be detected by many devices, including smart pillows, smart sleeping mats, and smartwatches. Still, it’s always good to get regular check-ups with your doctor. This is because sleep disorders can have serious health consequences in some instances if not well monitored.

Therefore, it is advisable to visit your general practitioner if you feel like the gadgets aren’t helpful enough to monitor your sleeping disorders. On the other hand, if you’re a healthy person and simply want to improve your health through proper sleeping, the sleep monitoring devices will do a great job. When you’re selecting the type of devices to use, you should choose the best ones that have enough features to monitor your sleep efficiently.

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