Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Studying and Improving Your Sleep with Lark

 

 

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Sleep is important to one's overall health.  It's as much a part of that as eating right, exercising, and not smoking.  I mean, think about it… you spend about 1/3 of your life asleep… it's got to be important right?
Yet, we in  healthcare are just now beginning to understand & appreciate exactly how important sleep is to the overall health of the human body. Different disciplines are approaching it from different aspects and in the last 5 years, dentistry has really begun to make a concerted effort to help improve sleep by means of oral appliances that help open the patient's airway.
In dentistry, this is a rapidly expanding area of interest for many practitioners. The  unfortunate part for both practitioners and patients is that most of the knowledge that is acquired to treat sleep apnea must be done in postgraduate continuing education courses. As this post by my buddy Marty Jablow demonstrates, there just isn't a lot of time spent on sleep disorders in current dental school curriculums.
I won't go into great detail about sleep disorders and sleep apnea in this post, as that is a subject that would require much more detail than I have time for right now. However I can tell you that no matter whether a patient can benefit from a CPAP or in oral appliance, the 1st step is a properly done sleep study. These studies are done in a sleep lab where multiple areas of the patient's functions and physiology are studied while the patient sleeps for the night.  Sleep studies are necessary, but can be difficult for the patient as they require spending the night in a sleep lab and being carefully monitored  with lots of electronics attached to the body. For some individuals simply getting to a sleep lab is difficult and for some sleeping under sleep lab conditions can be very hard to do.
That's why I was excited when I came across a device called The Lark. While at this point it is in no way, shape, or form equivalent or even close to providing the amount of information gleaned from a properly done sleep study, I feel that the future for this type of device and software is bright. The evolution of devices such as The Lark could make obtaining data on patients suffering from sleep apnea easy to receive and easy to share, in addition to the potential for at home sleep studies future generations of products such as these could also help doctors treating sleep apnea to monitor patients on a nightly basis to see if therapy is working and to help modify therapy as needed to improve patient outcomes.
As I previously stated, this device is not currently capable of sleep studies or of generating that type of information, however I do see a device like this becoming important to treatment in the future. Here is some information about the current version of The Lark direct from the company website. I'm giving serious consideration to purchasing one of these devices myself and taking it for a test drive. Read on for more information:

 

Meet Your Coach

Designed by leading sleep experts and a pro-sports sleep coach, LARK Personal Sleep coach brings you cutting edge sleep tracking and training.

Start with the 7-Day Sleep Assessment. After a week of sleeping with LARK, your Personal Sleep Coach unveils your Sleep Type and provide an action plan tailored to your specific Sleep Type.

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Get real-time feedback on how healthy your sleep is and discover what helps you sleep better. Your Personal Sleep Coach tracks your improvement and pushes you to improve with words of encouragement, a little tough love, and a lot of personalized attention.

For a richer set of coaching tools and unlimited 7-Day Sleep Assessments for a year, upgrade to Pro.

 

 

Seize Your Potential

Don’t sleep for sleep’s sake. Sleep so you can improve what matters to you most: your health, happiness and performance. Every day, use the real-time feedback and tailored sleep plan from your Personal Sleep Coach and Silent Alarm Clock to improve your life.

 

Wake your potential (not your partner) with LARK.

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