Research has found a non-invasive way to monitor how people sleep using an AI algorithm instead of intrusive monitors. For years, people have had to endure sleep tests with wires and electrodes all over. This is part of why some people will not go in and get diagnosed with any type of sleeping disorders. However, that is all about to change. Now, these same tests can be performed in the luxury of one’s own home, without those invasive monitors. Imaging, you can get your diagnosis, while still sleeping like you normally would. Sound too good to be true?
Were you aware that over 50 million people struggle with some type of sleeping disorder? That does not even include the portion of the population that struggles to sleep for other reasons, such as Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s. Over a half a billion people do not get the type of rest they need each night. That is a staggering number. When you add in that over half of those people have no official diagnosis, then you can see just how large this problem really gets. Things like apnea can do a lot of damage to your body, especially when left untreated.
Your body begins to shut down when you do not get enough of the right type of rest each night. You cannot heal properly, your immune system struggles to respond, and you face exhaustion. Eventually, you get sick and your quality of life declines. The longer these issues go untreated (or undiagnosed), the worse they become. This can lead to short-term issues, like a lack of focus, or long-term issues, like an increased risk of heart disease.
What this new algorithm does, is allow for easier and better diagnosing practices. It was developed by researchers at MIT with the help of Massachusetts General Hospital. Basically, there is a small device placed into a room, and it works much like a Wi-Fi router would. The router sends out a signal, and the devices around it take note and use that signal. In this instance, however, the device is looking for a very specific signal. The signal it wants to find is the RF signal sent out by your body. Once the signal is located, the device starts keeping tabs.
What it does is keeps track of when you are awake, and when you are asleep. Once you are asleep, it also tracks when you are in a light sleep, or when you fall into a much deeper level of rest, like REM. The device can track your breathing, heart rate, blood pressure, and brain waves, just to name a few. This can help doctors and other medical professionals diagnose problems such as apnea, where you struggle to breathe at night.
According to one of the doctors who led the research study, Dina Katabi, “It’s a smart Wi-Fi-like box that sits in the home and analyzes these reflections and discovers all of these changes in the body, through a signature that the body leaves on the RF signal.”. You need to do nothing, other than go about your normal routine. The device does the rest.
The most common need for sleep testing is for apnea. This new AI device allows for easier testing of apnea than before. It used to be that for every test, the subject would be hooked up to a wide array of monitoring devices, with wires coming off of the body from everywhere. They needed to check respiration, heart rate, and body movements.
Then, a totally different set of monitors were placed on the head. These checked for brain waves so the people reading the tests could determine how deeply the subject slept. This made sleeping incredibly difficult due to how uncomfortable most people were. This often skewed the results, and left people without any option other than sedation during their test. Unfortunately, this further skewed the results, and some people wound up misdiagnosed.
Today, all of these wires can become a thing of the past. With these new devices, you simply need to have them nearby, such as on a nightstand. Then, when you go to sleep, the device works and you are able to maintain your normal routine. This allows researchers to get much more valuable results, and have a much higher rate of successful diagnoses.
If you are one of the people who has ever heard that you stop breathing when you sleep, or you snore like a lawnmower, this may be the type of device that is perfect for you. When you hear those things, it is important you take them seriously. Having issues like apnea go on without proper diagnosis and treatment damages your body. The longer the problem persists, the more likely you are to get additional symptoms from it. A simple test, in the comfort of your own home, could give you back the ability to rest peacefully, and regain your health.
Trouble sleeping plagues many people, all around the world. Here in the U.S., the number is growing on a daily basis. Do not wind up one of over 50 million individuals who struggles when you have options out there to help. Sometimes little things, like a sleeping device, can give you back your ability to rest through the entire night. One of these diagnoses does not mean your entire life will be different. However, leaving the issue alone until it gets worse, does give you much higher odds of facing a life-altering problem.