This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.

The Food and Drug Administration, which oversees drugs and medical devices in the United States, has permitted the marketing of NightWare, an app that detects and prevents nightmares on the Apple Watch.

NightWare is a prescription app for patients who suffer from nightmares and lack healthy sleep due to PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and other reasons.

It uses the Apple Watch's heart rate monitor and motion sensor to analyze the sleep patterns of each wearer to determine if they are having nightmares. If it detects it, it interrupts the nightmare by stimulating the wearer with gentle vibrations that do not wake them up, helping them to rest.

In 2017, the company raised money for a clinical trial on Kickstarter and then participated in the Breakthrough Devices Program, which helps medical devices and apps get approved quickly by the FDA.

According to the FDA, NightWare showed significant improvements in sleep in a 30-day trial of 70 patients compared to a group given a non-vibrating app (so-called placebo or sham), according to the FDA.

NightWare is an app that is supposed to be used in conjunction with other prescription drugs and other medications under professional guidance as part of the treatment for sleep disorders and is not currently available for anyone to download and try from the App Store. It is intended for temporary relief and does not target so-called sleepwalking or symptoms that can lead to nightmares to injury to oneself or others. With the FDA's approval of the device, the day when it can be prescribed to the public as part of insomnia treatment is nearing, at least in the United States.

FDA Permits Marketing of New Device Designed to Reduce Sleep Disturbance Related to Nightmares in Certain Adults | FDA

NightWare | We won't rest until those with PTSD do

Note that apps and devices that are not intended to cure and that claim to "intervene in dreams" are not treated as medical devices, so they have been available for some time, regardless of their effectiveness. For example, there are apps that claim to "send a light signal while you are dreaming to tell you that it's a dream so you can have a lucid dream, to help you dream the way you want".

I just hope the passenger next to me who woke up from a nap on the train doesn't look at the wrist and mutter, "What's still a dream?" and then slowly look around, or state after his arrest that he thought it was a lucid dream.

This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.