wearables

Apple Watch app that can help treat PTSD-related nightmares gets FDA clearance

NightWare is an Apple Watch app that helps treat nightmares by interrupting bad dreams with vibrations but still maintaining sleep.

The NightWare app uses smartwatch motion sensors and heart rate data to detect if you are having a nightmare and makes the Apple Watch vibrate in response.
The NightWare app uses smartwatch motion sensors and heart rate data to detect if you are having a nightmare and makes the Apple Watch vibrate in response. (NightWare/Endgadget)

Of all the things the Apple Watch is capable of, the latest addition might be a way to address nightmare-related sleep issues. The FDA has given a green signal for the sale of NightWare, an Apple Watch app that comes with a corresponding iPhone element and can help treat nightmares stemming from psychological disorders like PTSD, according to reports.

The app uses smartwatch motion sensors and heart rate data to detect if you are having a nightmare and makes the Apple Watch vibrate in response. What this does is it arouses the user but does not wake him/her thus interrupting the bad dreams but letting the user sleep on.

The NightWare app is prescription-only and the company has stressed on the fact that this is not a standalone treatment. The app is a part of a larger strategy that includes medication as well and the company has also warned against trying this ‘therapy’ out if you “act out” your dreams during sleep.

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If you check the NightWare app page right now, they are conducting tests that you can volunteer to be a part of after you respond to a detailed survey.

However, there is “no guarantee” the app will work though the FDA has said that a study of a control group showed better sleep quality with the NightWare app involved than not. The app is low risk and it might prove to be useful if existing treatments are not enough.

The advent of an app like this paves a way for the future of smartwatches that don’t just track sleep and heart rate.

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