Smartwatches to monitor your nightmares
The FDA has given NightWare clearance to market a “digital therapeutic” device that uses an Apple Watch to interrupt PTSD-related nightmares.
Every night, Patrick Skluzacek woke with his heart pounding and his T-shirt drenched with sweat. The details of his nightmares often slipped away when he snapped his eyes open, but he knew their broad strokes. He was back in the Iraq War, trekking to or from the hellish insurgent stronghold of Fallujah, alert to ever-present danger as he commanded a convoy of fuel tankers to supply a Marine base. Even years after he returned home, his racing mind couldn’t adapt to the calm of civilian life.
After a while, the fear of the nightmares became more destructive than the nightmares themselves. Skluzacek recalls trying to obliterate them with antidepressants, anti-anxiety meds, sleeping pills, and increasing quantities of alcohol. Nothing worked for long. The nightmares returned like a nightly horror show. He figures he was getting about two hours of sleep a night.
Skluzacek’s life went into a downward spiral—he got divorced and lost his job as a mechanic—and he struggled to persevere. Then in 2015, eight years after Skluzacek returned from the war, his son Tyler had an idea.
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