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Apnea monitors help assess whether a person has uninterrupted breathing during sleep. There are various types.
In this article, we explore what sleep apnea monitors do and some options available.
Please note that the statements below are based only on research. No one at Medical News Today, including the writer, has tried these products.
A person might use one of these monitors to track the breathing of an infant or an adult at risk of respiratory failure.
There are different types of monitors, but they all contain sensors that measure aspects of the body during sleep, such as breathing and movement.
Each device also contains a microcomputer that processes the information to determine whether breathing has stopped. If it has, the device sounds an alarm to wake the person or parents or caregivers.
The World Health Organization (WHO) warn that apnea monitors are subject to misreadings. They explain that movement, the person’s heartbeat, and nearby electrical devices can each cause false readings.
Sleep apnea is a common disorder that causes a person to stop breathing repeatedly during sleep.
A person may not realize that they are experiencing sleep apnea. However, some signs include:
- gasping for air while sleeping
- daytime sleepiness
- dry mouth when waking
- headaches when waking
- sexual dysfunction
- decreased concentration
Sleep apnea in an infant involves interruptions in breathing of 20 seconds or longer.
However, shorter interruptions accompanied by a slow heart rate, bluish or pale skin, and muscle weakness can also indicate apnea.
A person might try the following smartphone app or separate devices:
This app turns a smartphone into a sleep apnea monitor or tracker. It assesses movement and breathing and generates a sleep score. A person can also use it to track the progress of interruptions in sleep and gain insight into apnea patterns.
A person can download SleepScore for Android or iPhone devices through SleepScore Labs’ website or by searching for the app’s name on their phone.
LOOKEE Wrist Sleep Oxygen Monitor
A person wears this device like a watch and an attachment fits around one finger.
According to the company that makes it, the monitor tracks blood oxygen levels, and if these become low, it sounds an adjustable alarm, warning the person to switch positions.
The device also comes with an app that allows the person to track their progress.
A person wears this monitor around one finger, and it resembles a smartwatch.
According to the company that makes it, the Wellue O2Ring tracks the person’s blood oxygen levels and heart rate. It sends a silent vibration when it detects low levels.
The company states that their product is suitable for people who experience sleep apnea, snoring, asthma, pneumonia, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, known as COPD.
There are several varieties of apnea monitors for babies, and many have additional features, such as roll-over sensors.
Before purchasing a product, ensure that it is appropriate for infants. A person might consider:
CMI Health Battery-Operated Pulse Oximeter
According to the company that makes it, this provides continuous monitoring of a baby’s pulse and blood oxygen levels.
The company states that it also allows a person to spot-check blood oxygen levels at any time of day.
It can be used with babies or adults. When a caregiver uses it for continuous monitoring, the device connects to the baby’s feet.
Owlet Smart Sock
This is a wearable tracker that wraps around a baby’s foot.
According to the company that makes it, the monitor notifies parents and caregivers if the infant’s heart rate or blood oxygen levels fall below a preset level.
The monitor can connect to smartphones and other devices. A person can purchase additional products, such as a camera monitor, that connect with the smart sock.
Sense-U Breathing & Rollover Monitor
This monitor connects to the front of the infant’s diaper and sends alerts to parents and caregivers via a smartphone app.
According to the company’s website, their product tracks various elements using a color-coded system:
- Green indicates that the infant is fine.
- Red indicates that their breathing is weaker.
- Blue indicates that the infant has rolled onto their stomach.
- Orange indicates a high temperature.
Anyone who thinks that they have sleep apnea should consult a doctor.
Though it is not necessary, using a tracker ahead of the appointment can help provide the doctor with useful information, such as how often apnea occurs and the effects on sleep.
A sleep apnea monitor can give information about a person’s breathing during sleep. Monitors may track breath rate, blood oxygen levels, and heart rate, for example.
Those designed for infants might also track body temperature and when they have rolled onto their stomachs.
These monitors come in different forms, and cost varies accordingly. It is important to choose a device that suits a person’s needs, including comfort.
Anyone who believes that they experience sleep apnea should contact a doctor.