The NightBalance solution

The NightBalance solution

 

Sleeping supine is often the cause of apnea

 

The Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS), which is also simply called (sleep) apnea, is disturbed breathing during sleep which causes breathing to stop. The consequences of this include severe tiredness, lack of concentration, irritability and an increased risk of heart failure.

Sleep apnea occurs for the majority of people when they are supine. Your tongue relaxes and, when supine, falls backwards easier due to its weight causing the airway to be blocked. This is called positional sleep apnea. Over half of apnea patients have positional sleep apnea. Within this category sleep apnea is at least two times worse when supine than in any other position. In another approximately 30% of patients sleeping on the back is considerably worse, but not with this factor two difference

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Over half of apnea patients mainly have apnea whilst supine.

Sleeping on your side can be a solution

 

Research shows that when you sleep on your side your airway is less obstructed and the positional sleep apnea and its consequences subside (see right-hand diagram below). Research has elicited several ways in which to avoid lying on your back; however the majority of these methods involve strapping a large bump to your back. This provides for a very uncomfortable experience and various research indicates that it can disturb the sleep. This causes very few patients to continue using this method on a daily basis, giving rise to disappointing long-term results of position therapy, whereby the techniques are also not commonly recommended.

Tongue blocks the airway when supine

Tongue blocks the airway when supine

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Airway is free when lying on your side

Calm nights with NightBalance

 

After almost 5 years of research, with support from among others the Technical University Delft, the Sint Lucas Andreas Hospital, and the Medisch Spectrum Twente, NightBalance introduces the Sleep Position Trainer. This device contains an active sensor continually monitoring your sleep position and reacts on this information with a soft vibration during light sleep. This allows you to turn to a healthy position without disturbing your natural sleep pattern.

In this way the Sleep Position Trainer gradually trains you to not sleep on your back. The Sleep Position Trainer has been developed with the goals of improving the effectiveness of position therapy for sleep apnea, and improving the comfort in doing so. It would also form a medical treatment for sleep apnea which can be used in the long term.

The Sleep Position Trainer from NightBalance is a small and light device, approximately the same size and weight of an iPod. It is easy and comfortable to wear the aid using the elasticized waist band. It is worn around the chest and can be worn on top of or underneath nightwear.

What makes the Sleep Position Trainer comfortable yet effective?

The Sleep Position Trainer is a small and flat device. This ensures that your sleep is not disturbed and allows you to easily move from your left to your right side without any movement restrictions. To make it easy, NightBalance uses a gradual training program. This allows you to get used to your new way of sleeping in your own time. If you prefer to fall asleep on your back this is not a problem as the device only starts functioning when you are sleeping because of a start delay.
You can also use the pause mode if you wish to lie on your back as the device will automatically restart. The device vibrates during your sleep at a level which is easily detected by your body without disturbing your sleep. Further, the Sleep Position Trainer automatically determines the level of vibrations based on your personal sleep patterns in order to remain effective in the long-run.
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How do we know if the Sleep Position Trainer works?

The Sleep Position Trainer stores all the information gathered during the night in internal memory. You can read this information on the device itself or via your computer in order to follow your sleep progress. You view the percentage of the night you spent lying on your back on the computer. This is displayed on a weekly basis and allows you to review your personal results.

You are also able to view how long you spent in which specific sleep positions per night and how often the sensor produced a stimulus in the form of a vibration. All of this data is clearly displayed in the form of various graphics. You are able to review your sleep data at any point in time, and review all the data since the day of first use.
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Review your sleep data

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Your sleep positions last night

Treating sleep apnea makes for a better night sleep for both you and your partner. A good night’s sleep makes you feel more refreshed, improves your performance during the day and makes you less irritable.