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Sleep Problems? Your Samsung Watch Can Tell if It May Be Sleep Apnea

by Elizabeth Harper on February 15, 2024

Struggling with constant fatigue? Your Samsung Galaxy Watch may soon help diagnose the cause: sleep apnea. This serious condition interrupts your breathing during sleep, causing poor sleep quality and health risks. With FDA-authorized monitoring, the Galaxy Watch could be your first step towards identifying sleep apnea and finding much-needed relief.

Samsung Galaxy Watch warns a wearer of potential sleep apnea

Galaxy Watch can track your blood oxygen levels while you sleep, looking for patterns that are consistent with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea, the most common type of sleep apnea. To help make a diagnosis, you need to use the Galaxy Watch and Samsung Health app to track your sleep over two nights within a ten-day period, getting at least four hours of sleep at a time.

Read more: Samsung's AI Features Shine in the Galaxy S24 Lineup

This is part of Samsung’s commitment to help Galaxy Watch users get a better night’s sleep. Last year the company ran a large-scale sleep study, analyzing 716 million nights of sleep, which indicated we’re getting less sleep every night. For standard sleep problems, Samsung’s Sleep Coaching program can help guide you to a better night’s sleep – but if poor sleep quality is caused by sleep apnea, you’ll need more than coaching.

The Galaxy Watch is the first wearable to receive FDA approval to help diagnose sleep apnea. While Apple is reportedly working on advanced health monitoring systems for the Apple Watch – including sleep apnea tracking – the FDA has yet to clear it, or any other wearable device, for the purpose.

Read more: Should You Upgrade to the Samsung Galaxy Watch6?

Like all high-tech health monitors, the Samsung Galaxy Watch isn’t a replacement for medical advice. It can alert you to moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea (if you are age 22 or older), but it isn’t cleared to check for central sleep apnea, a less common type, or very mild cases of sleep apnea. And if the watch does detect sleep apnea, you still need to seek medical advice which will likely include more thorough testing for sleep apnea, such as a sleep study.

But the initial discovery is the important part. People with sleep apnea may not realize they have a problem, and this easy at-home testing could help start you on the path to better health – and better sleep.

Unfortunately, sleep apnea tracking isn’t available yet, but it will be later this year. The sleep apnea feature will be added to the Galaxy Watch series starting in the third quarter of 2024.

[Image credit: Samsung]

Elizabeth Harper is a writer and editor with more than a decade of experience covering consumer technology and entertainment. In addition to writing for Techlicious, she's Editorial Director of Blizzard Watch and is published on sites all over the web, including Time, CBS, Engadget, The Daily Dot and DealNews.


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