Sleep as a Vital Sign


Restful sleep is vital to your health. Recent studies in neuroscience have concluded that the single most important factor in maintaining a healthy brain and body, especially as we grow older, is getting enough restful sleep. For most people, 7 hours per night is required to receive the restorative benefits of sleep.

Not getting enough restful sleep has dangerous health consequences, threatening the way our brain, heart, and immune system naturally work. Scientists now understand that the long-term effects of insufficient sleep can cause or worsen numerous diseases, as well as mental illnesses.

How do we know if our sleep health is poor? One way is to monitor and pay attention to our sleep breathing – not just snoring, but particularly gaps in breathing, where we stop breathing for 10 seconds or more at a time.

This condition happens when the soft tissue in the back of your throat collapses and partially or completely closes your airway. The result is you stop breathing for anywhere from 10 to 120 seconds at a time, and this can happen as many as dozens of times per hour or hundreds of times per night. When breathing resumes, OSA sufferers typically make a gasping, choking or loud snorting sound. That’s why snorers are often linked to OSA, but not all those who snore have the disorder. About 80 percent, or 18 to 22 million, of those adults with OSA need treatment but haven’t sought help.

Measuring our sleep breathing can tell us a lot about how restful our sleep is, and how alert or productive we may expect to be the next day.

Regular monitoring of sleep breathing patterns can tell if sleep breathing is stable, getting better or getting worse.

Are You at Risk for Sleep Apnea?

Have you been told that you snore loudly, or sound like you’re choking when you’re asleep? Or do you wake up each morning with a headache, or feeling that you haven’t slept at all? These are all symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, a serious but treatable sleep disorder.

The statistics about sleep apnea and its effects on overall health can be scary. But instead of worrying about OSA, take action by getting an accurate assessment of your risk.

Find Out With DROWZLE

DROWZLE® is an easy-to-use software program that works through your smartphone to record and analyze sleep breathing patterns. After answering a few questions and setting up a personal profile, you will use DROWZLE at your bedside overnight.

The DROWZLE report that will be delivered the next morning provides an accurate assessment of your risk for OSA. With this information, you can talk to your dentist or healthcare provider about new diagnosis and treatment options.

Know your sleep breathing risks and take charge of your health!

DROWZLE is available through participating employers, dentists, and healthcare providers. Talk to your human resources or employee wellness manager about DROWZLE, or visit to learn more.


How Sleep Apnea Affects
Overall Health

OSA is a life-threatening sleep breathing disorder that affects 25 million to 28 million American adults.

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About 80 percent of adults with moderate to severe OSA are not being treated for the condition.

In some cases, adults with severe, untreated OSA may stop breathing for up to two minutes.

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The periods when you stop breathing also cause dips in blood-oxygen levels, which can release stress hormones, affecting blood pressure and heart rate.

The lack of quality sleep has been linked to:
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Headaches
  • Memory issues
  • Mood and behavior problems

OSA may also cause or worsen other health conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, cardiovascular disease, congestive heart failure, erectile dysfunction, and Alzheimer’s disease.

However, OSA can be easily and successfully treated. Treatment options have vastly improved in recent years -- technology advances with both oral appliances and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices have resulted in greater tolerability and comfort.


The Benefits of Treatment

Proper diagnosis and effective sleep apnea treatment can greatly improve an individual’s quality of life, and overall physical and mental health. The truth is that you will feel better almost immediately after beginning treatment for OSA.

Treatment for OSA also reduces the risk of developing hypertension, stroke, or type 2 diabetes.


Symptoms and Statistics

Recognize these OSA Symptoms

Common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include:
  • Loud snoring
  • Choking or gasping while sleeping
  • Morning headaches and nausea
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Irritability or feelings of depression
  • Disturbed sleep
  • Concentration and memory problems
  • Frequent night-time urination
  • Loss of sex drive, impotence or both



How to Get Started


We created the DROWZLE mobile software system to provide an easy way to record and analyze sleep breathing patterns, so you know when you need to talk to your doctor or take steps to improve your sleep breathing health.

As you sleep, DROWZLE records sleep breathing patterns and sends sound files to our secure servers in the cloud.

DROWZLE analyzes and interprets the sleep results along with the profile you provide, to measure and track your sleep-related health risks over time. Each morning, you receive the results from the prior night’s sleep.

DROWZLE can provide tips and resources to help you understand your sleep health risks so that you can have more restful nights and alert days.