Tonight nearly 750 million people in Europe will put on their pajamas, lay in their beds, close their eyes and try to fall into a deep and restful sleep. However, 35% of these people will lay awake, toss and turn and have disrupted and unsatisfying sleep.
The morning after a restless night is usually met with frustration, irritability and of course fatigue. Even after only one night, our brain struggles to function properly and it begins to feel overworked and drained. This is becoming the reality for many Europeans and not only for one night but chronically.
Sleep deprivation is detrimental to the body in many ways. As mentioned before, a poor night of rest will lead to fatigue and a decline in learning and cognitive abilities. This makes sense as our body and brain needs rest, but sleep is incredibly important for many less obvious reasons.
Unfortunately because sleep disruption is so common, it’s become a normalized experience and is under-reported and subsequently under-diagnosed by health professionals (Fifel, 2020). For those with neurodegenerative disease, disturbed sleep is even more common and typically predates the manifestation of these disorders by years or decades. What if there was a way to pick up on this ignored symptom before the progression of a neurodegenerative disease?
This is the question IDEA-FAST hopes to answer. By using a variety of non-invasive devices to measure sleep disturbances and fatigue, the study is hoping to pinpoint specific and concrete measurements called digital endpoints. In order to discover these digital endpoints, data from healthy individuals and those with neurodegenerative and immune-mediated inflammatory diseases will be measured and compared to find patterns of manifestation.
Many of these diseases lack a biomarker or known cause, but perhaps the answer is in one’s sleep. The use of this technology and data collection could help in the future with diagnosing and even preventing the onset of neurodegenerative diseases with early detection. For those who are healthy but carry around the pesky symptom of fatigue, these devices can measure quality of sleep with the newest level of clarity. Hopefully the use of these devices will change the way people and health professionals view and analyze sleep so that no one has to suffer the burden of a restless night and fatigue.
Hopefully the use of these devices will change the way people and health professionals view and analyze sleep so that no one has to suffer the burden of a restless night and fatigue.
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