Beddr and True Sleep
Sleep is vital for our health and happiness. Yet more than 70 million Americans experience poor sleep. As a society, we spend roughly $30B every year on sleep products. Poor sleep costs us $400B every year, in productivity losses, accidents, and increased incidence of chronic disease all of which lead to higher healthcare costs.
These concerns about sleeping better and a desire to feel better rested can be easily translated into two basic questions that people must answer:
- What is wrong with my sleep?
- How do I make my sleep better?
The answer to these can be found in the concept of True Sleep. What is True Sleep? Very simply put, it is a science backed, evidence based, medically sound, nuanced and comprehensive definition of what comprises achievable healthy sleep for each one of us - in the here and now of our lives, personalities, preferences and constraints.
Once people understand the concepts and underpinnings of True Sleep they can begin to work towards fulfilling their own True Sleep. Just as we are all human and yet unique, so is the notion of True Sleep. For instance, most people need to sleep a minimum number of hours depending on their age and gender to get the sleep they need. Some people may exert themselves more than others and need more sleep, others less. Let’s assume that everyone is getting the right duration of sleep. Should everyone now wake up feeling rested and alert throughout the day? Would that it were that simple. If people aren’t breathing easy when they sleep, they could wake up not feeling rested at all, or with other symptoms such as headaches, sleepiness, and a general sense of fatigue throughout the day. It could be someone has psychological stressors from work or life, which can add up to not feeling 100% when they awaken. Worse yet, a combination could make someone not even feel like getting out of bed. We say anyone suffering like this is not getting their True Sleep to be their best selves.
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So how do you find your True Sleep? Unfortunately it’s not as easy as it should be. The systems for understanding your sleep, getting diagnosed, and treated are not the most user friendly or comfortable. It’s no wonder that 80% of people with sleep apnea, the most common sleep disorder, do not get diagnosed. The fact is, protocols for addressing sleep-related complaints are relatively non-existent in the healthcare system. Doctors only spend 20 hours on average studying sleep in med school, meaning sleep related complaints often draw a blank. At the same time there is only one sleep physician (yes, a real medical specialty!) for every 40,000 Americans. Even within sleep specialists, there tends to be deep knowledge of one sleep disorder and less knowledge of the multiplicity of factors that could be preventing a patient from achieving their True Sleep. So, even if you’re very proactive about your sleep, and you’re the person who is very persistent and goes through with the long, inconvenient and expensive process of getting diagnosed and treated for one sleep disorder, you may not find your True Sleep.
But don’t despair. Helping everyone understand and find their True Sleep underscores Beddr's mission. Here’s what we know: finding True Sleep entails clinically significant sleep data, close attention to each person and their specific life, equal rigor on the triad of medical, behavioral, and lifestyle factors, all addressed with compassion and respect. Our mission is to improve the quality of life for millions of individuals through the first integrated, personalized approach to understanding and improving the root causes of sleep issues, so that everyone can find their True Sleep.
Subarna Mitra is Head of Product for Beddr. She loves building products to help users take charge of their well being. She has expertise in personalized consumer-friendly digital health and previously managed the consumer experience for full-spectrum virtual care products at HealthTap. Her happy time is with users and the team - learning, brainstorming and designing. Subarna holds an MBA from INSEAD, an MPP from UC Berkeley and an MCA from College of Engineering, Osmania University.