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Google leverages AASM to help people make sense of their sleep 

Google leverages AASM to help people make sense of their sleep 

DARIEN, Ill. — People struggling to get a good night’s sleep can now get evidence-based recommendations and tips from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine through Google’s new Sleep Sensing technology. 

Available on the second-generation Nest Hub, Sleep Sensing analyzes snoring, coughing and the environment to assess how well users sleep. After learning a user's sleep habits and patterns, the device gives personalized insights and recommendations that draw on the science available from the sleep community and the expertise of AASM. 

“Sleep tracking is becoming more common,” said Dr. Raman Malhotra, AASM president-elect. “People are taking more control over their health and wellness, and sleep timing and estimated sleep duration are health behaviors they can track at home, just like counting steps.” 

One of the advantages of sleep trackers is that they're easy to use at home, so they capture data in a real-world setting in the individual’s own bedroom environment, says Malhotra. They can also gather data over weeks or months, and unlike wearable devices, they’re not disruptive to the user. 

On the flip side, sleep trackers might cause anxiety in some users — or create an unhealthy obsession with getting the “perfect sleep” — making it even harder to sleep, says Malhotra.  

“This is especially true if the device fails to help the user understand the context of their data,” he said. 

While sleep trackers shouldn’t be used as a substitute for sleep studies, they do help bridge the communication gap between patients who might be hesitant to speak up about their sleep issues with their medical providers and ask for help or insight. 

“The strong consumer demand for sleep tracking devices is a positive sign of the growing recognition that sleep is essential to health,” said Malhotra. “I think we’ll continue to see the tech sector develop new innovations to satisfy this demand with user-friendly devices that provide personalized feedback.” 


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