Veterans can find relief from ongoing Nightmares by using a Digital Therapeutic System that works in conjunction with Apple Watch and iPhone
Every night for more than a decade, Robert Guithues dreaded closing his eyes and falling asleep. That’s because when he did, he was transported back to the burning oil fields outside of Baghdad, or to a forward operating base in the mountains of Afghanistan, where his unit was attacked for 278 days out of its yearlong mission there.
“Your mind and your psyche are not meant to take some of the stuff that you run across when you’re deployed and fighting a war,” says Guithues, who retired as a first sergeant in the Army in 2012 after serving for more than 20 years. “As time went on, my nightmares became more vivid and physical — thrashing around, calling out names and commands. And if there was thunder or lightning outside, I wouldn’t go to bed until the sun came up. At my worst point after I got back from Afghanistan, I didn’t sleep for three months.”
That all changed when he discovered NightWare.
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NightWare is a digital therapeutic system that works in conjunction with Apple Watch and iPhone to disrupt nightmares related to post-traumatic stress disorder. Available by prescription only, it’s also the first and only digital therapeutic developed specifically to treat nightmares that is cleared by the FDA. NightWare uses information from the Apple Watch heart rate sensor, accelerometer, and gyroscope to detect a nightmare and then disrupt it through haptic feedback, generating gentle pulses on the wrist that gradually increase until the user is roused from the nightmare, but not from sleep.
“Before NightWare, we didn’t really have any great solution for nightmares, and that’s a huge problem because for so many active-duty and retired service members, they are debilitating,” says Robertson. “There is a medication that a lot of them are on called Prazosin, which is actually a blood pressure drug, but it doesn’t work for many patients, has a lot of side effects, and also decreases your athletic performance. And in the military, athletic performance is very, very important.”
The nonprofit Semper Fi & America’s Fund has supported tens of thousands of wounded service members, veterans, and military families since its inception in 2003, and is helping to subsidize NightWare prescriptions for those without insurance coverage. Sue Baker has been a caseworker at the organization for more than a decade and has witnessed NightWare change lives.
There's a lot more details in Apple's Press Release that you could read about here.