A new technological solution has emerged for the treatment of traumatic nightmares and has just been cleared as a treatment by the FDA in the US. Nightware is an application linked to an Apple watch. NightWare learns the wearer's sleep pattern after just a few days of wearing the watch each night. After a learning period, typically less than 10 days, the watch senses the wearer's heart rate and movement. When it detects a potential nightmare, the watch will vibrate enough to interrupt the nightmare, without waking the wearer. If it senses that it woke the person, it will vibrate less next time to avoid waking the wearer. The watch is only available in the US through prescription.
Data submitted to the FDA included information from a 30-day trial of 70 patients who were randomly assigned to receive either the NightWare app or a placebo app with no vibrations. While both groups self-reported improved sleep quality, the benefit was greater for those provided with the Nightware product. Further trials are being conducted, one of which hopes to include 240 patients from several Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals. It is projected to finish in the second half of 2021.
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