CPAP Clinic Sleep Blog

Understanding your sleep health, sleep apnea and CPAP therapy

It’s on! The Fitbit vs Airsense 10 CPAP sleep quality comparison review


It’s on! The Fitbit vs Airsense 10 CPAP sleep quality comparison review


Today we’re breaking down two very popular products that deliver sleep feedback to the user: The Fitbit and the Resmed Airsense 10 CPAP.

This comparison is to take a quick general look into the feedback, the type of information provided and an understanding what each device will and will not deliver for the user ~ especially when related to measuring quality of sleep and proper sleep apnea treatment.

The Fitbit:

The Fitbit is a wrist band which records motion and related statistics when you’re awake and active, therefore giving you good fitness information for your goals. It also records information about your sleep quality (in normal and sensitive modes) and rates your sleep according to the amount of physical movement during sleep.


How does the Fitbit measure sleep?

As per the manufacturer, If there is an absence of movement while sleeping, it is indicative of deep sleep and therefore your sleep score goes up. For example, the Fitbit issues a rating in the form of a number, such as 85, meaning the quality of sleep was good.

If you move during sleep, your sleep score plummets. For example, the Fitbit issues a rating of 49. This means sleep quality was bad.

But what if how you “feel” contradicts either result? For example, on a score of 49 you feel your sleep was great.

Or on a score of 85, you felt like you didn’t sleep at all. These examples deserve an explanation.

Some users offered their comments to explain.

“The FitBit isn’t accurate at all. It just tracks motion so if you fidget while you sleep, which happens a lot, you will get poor results.”

And what about expecting the Fitbit to assess, treat or measure sleep disorders?

“Consumers expecting these devices to distinguish sleep stages or give sleep quality feedback (like precise heart-rate, sleep apnea events, etc.) will not get good information. because the Fitbit relies on physical movements and not by brain activity. The two recordings are completely different.”

So the Fitbit’s sleep feedback quality is limited to reading physical movement while sleeping? Yes, and it goes no further. Remember, the Fitbit score is reflective of movement or lack of movement during sleep which might support or hint of a sleep disorder, not treat.

The Fitbit’s best use is for activity measurement and non-medical personal use reporting.


The Science of the Sleep Evaluation and the Fitbit

Sleep clinics utilize electroencephalography (EEG) and other measurements to measure and study brain waves during sleep. The quality of sleep is discerned by key information recorded within various stages of non-REM sleep reporting. As far as quality sleep goes, someone might require sleep quality assessments (i.e. sleep study in a sleep clinic, etc.) to obtain good sleep information.

The bottom-line is this, the Fitbit’s recordings sent to your phone cannot reflect EEG or sleep study-like results. Nor is it a treatment device for sleep apnea. This conclusion leads one to ask what the alternative for actual sleep feedback would be.

Let’s talk about CPAP for a moment.


The Resmed Airsense 10 CPAP Elite

Let’s discuss the Airsense 10 Elite CPAP and how it works as a sleep quality re-enforcement device and feedback tool.


The Airsense 10 Elite CPAP

The Airsense 10  3G CPAP (Continuous Postive Airway Pressure) device delivers airflow to open up the airway during sleep, therefore preventing stoppages in breathing. It is primarily used by individuals with sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea. It also records sleep quality derived from specific algorithms which send information from the unit’s memory to the a website via PC, tablet or phone, where the user can see, study and print the information.


The Science of Feedback for the Airsense 10

The information from a Resmed Airsense 10 reflects the quality of sleep because of statistical and graphical indicators, such as average per hour breathing stoppages (i.e. apneic events), etc., hours of actual use, wavelength breathing and leak patterns from the CPAP circuit and mask.

The information from an Airsense 10 is also indicative of the actual control of sleep apnea. And as a tool, it works quite well. This means the Airsense 10 Elite is more of a treatment device for sleep apnea. Essentially, sleep feedback is more accurate when a CPAP is performing without mask leaks, power interruptions, and usage interruptions.


Is it smart to combine the two technologies for an accurate reflection of high-quality sleep and proper sleep apnea treatment?

The verdict is that consistent information must come from the two devices to support a collaborative success. If the Fitbit reflects good sleep, so should the CPAP monitoring program. If results are mixed, it may have nothing to do with each device and more to do with conditions for sleep, such as a comfortable CPAP mask, comfortable bed, adequate CPAP pressure flow and a whole host of variables. The bottom-line is both units have their merits in measuring sleep and each device achieves this aim differently. If you use both units together and interpret the data with a dash of perspective and assistance from your sleep doctor and/or sleep consultant, you’ll have a better time understanding the direction of your sleep quality.
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Call 1.877.430.2727 for help.

Written and Edited by Bill Bistak B Sc.,SEO/SEM Spc, CRT

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