Whether you have a sleep apnea diagnosis or are just trying to figure out why you wake up groggy and grumpy every morning, there’s an app for that. The best sleep apnea apps can help you monitor symptoms to give you a better idea of what’s happening when you turn out the lights. Here are five of our favorites.

How do sleep apnea apps work?

It’s important to note that no app on your phone can take the place of a formal diagnosis from your doctor and a supervised, comprehensive treatment plan. Sleep apnea is serious and can lead to a variety of life-threatening conditions. When sleep apnea is left untreated, the risk of premature death from any cause triples. Consider these apps as a way to supplement a doctor’s care or keep track of symptoms while you look for a diagnosis.

Sleep tracker apps (or dedicated sleep apnea apps) work in a few different ways. They:

  • Measure the amount of your sleep: Your phone’s accelerometer registers movement and stillness to figure this out
  • Calculate the quality of sleep: Sleep apnea apps can record noise, including snoring and the gasping intake of air that is the hallmark symptom of sleep apnea
  • Monitor how much time you spend in each stage of sleep: Wearable sleep tracking apps can measure your heart rate to estimate the amount of time you spend in each stage of sleep
  • Assess the quality of your sleep hygiene: The temperature of the room, the level of darkness, and the amount of your movement all play a role in assessing the quality of your sleep

Some of the best sleep apnea apps also measure how much exercise you get daily and may also be able to track diet, stress levels, and heart rate to see if your waking hours are affected by a poor night’s sleep.

All of these factors combine to help paint a better picture of your sleep challenges, which may lead to better diagnosis.

5 of the best sleep apnea apps

High-quality, dedicated sleep apnea apps are challenging to come by. For most sleepers, it is often best to focus on analyzing sleep itself rather than looking for an app that counts apneic events (times when you stop breathing).

Here are five of the best sleep apnea apps to help you keep track of what’s happening while you sleep.

1. Sleep Cycle

Primarily billed as a gentle alarm clock, Sleep Cycle tracks your sleep to determine the best time to wake you. While this may seem like something your phone already does, this can also help you determine whether or not your CPAP or other sleep apnea treatments are working.

Sleep Cycle creates sleeping graphs that can be used over time to see if the quality and quantity of sleep is improving, or if your treatment protocols need to be tweaked.

  • Available on which operating systems? iPhone and Android
  • Cost? Free, but with in-app purchases
  • Special features? The website shows stats from around the world, including who are the best and worst sleepers globally (and who’s asleep right now!)

2. SleepTracker 24/7

This is the most popular sleep tracking app for the iPhone. SleepTracker monitors heart rate and sleep activity that contribute to a better understand of what’s going on at night. This app also offers pretty solid customer support and gets good reviews from its users.

  • Available on which operating systems? iPhone and Android
  • Cost? $0.99
  • Special features? Has a white noise generator to help with falling asleep, and AI technology offers insights into your sleeping patterns

3. Sleep Genius: Revive Cycle Alarm, Nap, Relaxation

This sleep apnea app was developed to specifically address insomnia and sleep issues. The developers eschew white noise machines and artificial waterfalls in favor of neurologically- based progressive relaxation to ease you into sleep.

  • Available on which operating systems? iPhone
  • Cost? $4.99
  • Special features? Four sleep programs, with family sharing for up to six people using the app at once

4. SnoreLab

Snoring is not just a nuisance to your sleeping partner: it can be a strong risk factor for sleep apnea and how severe it is. SnoreLab measures and records your snoring to come up with your personalized Snore Score

  • Available on which operating systems? iPhone and Android
  • Cost? Free, but comes with ads and in-app purchases
  • Special features? Premium editions of SnoreLab have no ads and allow you to make full-night recordings

5. DreamMapper

DreamMapper is one of the best CPAP apps out there. For people who are diagnosed with severe sleep apnea, a CPAP machine is the first-line treatment. Compliance can be hard, and DreamMapper knows that. This app helps determine if your mask fits properly, tracks a drop in apneic events, and allows you to set reminders to clean or replace CPAP machine equipment.

  • Available on which operating systems? iPhone and Android, but your CPAP machine needs to be compatible with the app, too
  • Cost? Free
  • Special features? You can set goals on this app to keep your motivated to stay with treatment

Get your sleep apnea diagnosis

The sleep apnea apps above are great for gathering data, but nothing replaces a sleep apnea diagnosis from your sleep apnea dentist or regular doctor. A polysomnography completed in a sleep clinic measures all of the things the apps above measure, but also includes physiological data and an apnea-hypopnea score to determine the severity of your sleep apnea. Even mild sleep apnea carries with it significant risks and can become worse without treatment.

If you have questions about sleep apnea or the best sleep apnea apps, AZ Dentist can help you get a better night’s sleep. Get in touch today!