Living With OSA

The Best Sleep Apnea Apps You Might Not Know About

sleep apnea appsDo you wake up in the morning after a long night’s sleep and wonder why you still feel tired? Do you feel unfocused, drained, and have difficulty concentrating on tasks during the day? Has your partner complained about loud snoring or woke you up to let you know you sounded like you were choking or gasping for air while asleep? 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s possible you have sleep apnea. If you’re not familiar with it—sleep apnea occurs when a person is asleep, and the muscles of their tongue and throat relax and expand to a size larger than they are when the person is awake. The relaxed muscles take up extra space, and as a result, airflow to the lungs is blocked. With the airway blocked, air from the nose and mouth cannot reach the lungs, and the person wakes up often gasping and choking for air.

Since this process happens repeatedly throughout the night, a person with sleep apnea rarely gets the rest they need to function at their highest levels throughout the day. The American Sleep Apnea Association (ASAA) estimates that 22 million people in the U.S. are living with sleep apnea today, and 80 percent of them have undiagnosed moderate to severe untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)—one of the three types of sleep apnea.

OSA is manageable through continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. Additionally, your smartphone or wearable sleep tracking device can also help you better manage your sleep and in some cases, even help uncover if you have sleep apnea.

While helpful, neither apps, smartphones, or smartwatches are substitutes for a sleep study. If you suspect you have sleep apnea, you’ll need to see a sleep apnea doctor who will then coordinate a sleep study for you to determine whether or not you need a CPAP machine. 

Types of Apps Related to Sleep

When it comes to apps related to sleep, there are usually three main categories that are either already available on your phone or wearable devices. Apps from the app store can help you track sleep as well as apps from your CPAP machine manufacturer. Some fitness tracking apps also offer sleep-related features. 

  • Sleep-Related Features Readily Available on Your Device. This refers to settings already available within your smartphone or wearable device and includes features both aptly called Bedtime for the iPhone as well as an Android. They each help by guiding you through what time you’d like to go to sleep and wake-up and then remind you nightly about your upcoming bedtime, so you can get into the habit of developing a bedtime routine. When you wake up, your phone is capable of calculating how long you slept based on how long it was inactive.
  • Third-Party Apps. A recent New York Times review of various sleep-tracking apps declared SleepScore to be the best app for sleep-tracking due to its intuitiveness, convenience, and ability to set attainable goals and provide the most detailed sleep-stage data than other apps reviewed. The iPhone version is better regarded than the Android one, but both received high marks. For Android users, Sleep Cycle is the best bet, and while helpful, it does not provide the depth of information that SleepScore does. Instead, it only correlates diet and exercise inputs from users with the app’s sleep data.

Can Apps Detect Sleep Apnea?

Some apps such as Snore Control and SnoreLab can tip you off that you may have sleep apnea. They do this by asking you to leave your phone’s microphone on while you sleep and notating when it sounds like you are having what is called an apnea event—when you snore loudly, wake up gasping for air, or wake up making choking sounds.

But, are they accurate?

A 2015 study by the University of Washington found that a mobile app captured sleep apnea events. While nearing six years old, this study proved that apps can indeed be used with high degrees of accuracy but always with the caveat that you should consult with a doctor if you suspect anything is wrong with your sleep as apps cannot connect to sensors or monitors. The app used for that study, ApneaApp, can actually be downloaded for those with certain Android devices.

Apps from Your CPAP Machine’s Manufacturer

If you do end up starting CPAP therapy for sleep apnea, newer machines also offer their own sleep tracking apps right on your smartphone.

Both the ResMed AirSense 10 and the Philips Respironics DreamStation can connect to Wi-Fi and transmit your sleep data to their secured-access cloud. You then create an account that will allow you to more handily access your sleep data. In addition, both apps also offer coaching and other advice to help you get the most of the machines. ResMed’s app is called myAir while Philips offers the DreamMapper.

You may also notice that those and some other CPAP machines have a slot for an SD card, similar to a digital camera. This data storage card was previously used by CPAP wearers to share the information with their physician. While you may still need to do that if your CPAP treatment requires close monitoring, most wearers nowadays can also rely on the manufacturers’ own apps and share it with their healthcare provider or insurance via email instead.

Most Popular Sleep Apnea Apps

1. SleepTracker 24/7 | 2. SnoreLab: Record Snoring | 3. Sleep++ | 4. Sleep as Android | 5. Runtastic Sleep Better | 6. Philips Respironics DreamMapper | 7. ResMed myAir

SleepTracker 24/7

Specifications:

  • Cost: $0.99
  • Platform: Apple and Android
  • Average Rating: 4.5 Stars
  • Total Number of Ratings: 3,560

Features:

  • Leading Sleep Tracking App for iPhone Since 2012
  • Uses AI Technology to Provide Machine-Learning Insights About Your Sleep
  • Feel Refreshed: Intelligent Alarm Wakes You Up at the Optimal Time
  • Monitors Heart Rate, Activity, and Much More
  • White Noise Generator Helps Aid in Falling Asleep

Feedback: The developers for the SleepTracker 24/7 respond quickly to customer complaints, glitches, and bugs, and are invested in their customers. While not a free app, this app remains one of the more popular on the iPhone platform. Most of the negative feedback has to do with the poor placement of buttons, icons, and somewhat disappointing user experience on older versions.

The company has worked hard to correct some of these flaws, but overall, the app has a lot of positive reviews, especially with the release of the latest version.

SnoreLab: Record Snoring

Specifications:

  • Cost: Free, With Some Premium Features
  • Platform: Apple and Android
  • Average Rating: 4.7 Stars
  • Total Number of Ratings: 3,970

Features:

  • Records, Measures, and Tracks Snoring
  • Integrates With Apple Health App
  • Records Snoring and Allows for Playback
  • Makes Suggestions and Recommendations on How to Stop Snoring
  • Easy to Use

Feedback: People love the SnoreLab Sleep Tracker app! Very few negative reviews have been posted about this app, and it has even picked up several recommendations from doctors. While not explicitly focused on sleep, snoring can be a warning sign of other sleep-related disorders. By improving or reducing snoring, it’s hoped that this can lead to better, more restful sleep, and that’s what this app does.

Back to Top

Sleep++

Specifications:

  • Cost: Free
  • Platform: Apple Only
  • Average Rating: 4.2 Stars
  • Total Number of Ratings: 2,790

Features:

  • Integrates With Apple Watch
  • Measures Sleep, Restlessness, Periods of Awakening
  • Displays the Results in an Easy to Read Graph
  • Can Tell When You Fall Asleep and Starts and Stops Automatically

Feedback: Apple Watches can keep track of such a large amount of health data, especially when it comes to the heart. The Sleep++ app taps into that capability and creates an easy-to-use, free tool, which can help you tell, at a glance, how the previous night went. Users have responded to this functionality, and people seem to love this app. The only complaints with this app are that the automatic recording feature doesn’t always work.

I use this app personally, as I have an Apple Watch. I like to keep track of my sleep data. The only thing I find lacking about the app is it doesn’t have any personalized recommendations on how to improve my sleep. I know by looking at it that generally, I’m restless for about an hour and a half each night due to my sleep apnea. I wish it would tell me ways I can reduce the incidence of restlessness and get better sleep. Overall, I find this app useful in keeping track of my sleep habits.

Sleep as Android

Specifications:

  • Cost: Free, With Some Premium Features
  • Platform: Android Only
  • Average Rating: 4.3 Stars
  • Total Ratings: Data Not Available
  • Total Downloads: 10 million

Features:

  • Focused on Helping You Fall Asleep
  • Tracks Your Sleep and Offers Suggestions on How to Improve
  • Provides Stats on Sleep Debt
  • Intelligent Alarm Wakes You Up at the Right Time
  • Android Smart Watch Integration

Feedback: The Sleep as Android app seems to have some of the best features when compared to the top apps in the field, combining them all under one roof. It seems to work similarly to SleepTracker 24/7, but the reviews have all come back great. Unfortunately for iPhone users, Sleep as Android is only for Android phones.

Back to Top

Runtastic Sleep Better

Specifications:

  • Cost: Free, With Some Premium Features
  • Platform: Apple and Android
  • Average Rating: 4.1 Stars
  • Total Ratings: 113,549

Features:

  • Tracks Sleep and Lifestyle Choices, Moon Phases, and More Impacts to Your Sleep
  • Dream Diary Helps You Keep Track of Dreams
  • Works in Airplane Mode

Feedback: The sleep apnea app, Runtastic Sleep Better, is rich when it comes to features and can help track things like dreaming that other apps don’t. It also looks at how other factors, such as exercise and alcohol, play a role in helping (or harming) an individual’s sleep. Out of all the sleep apps, this one has the lowest overall rating, but most of the reviews indicate that people love this app.

Overall, the app seems to be geared for fitness buffs, and people with an active lifestyle that want the additional data to help get the most out of workouts. The truth is, this app may have more data than you need, but if you live a very active lifestyle, you may find it to be beneficial.

While many sleep apnea apps help a person learn more about their sleep, they can’t diagnose sleep apnea or serve as an official Sleep Apnea screening test. For that kind of test, you’ll need to see a doctor about conducting a sleep study.

ResMed and Respironics Apps

For their flagship machines, Respironics and ResMed have mobile apps that connect your mobile device to the data coming out of the machine. Philips Respironics calls theirs DreamMapper, and the Resmed app is called myAir. Here are the highlights of each:

Philips DreamMapper

Highlights:

  • Tracks Time, Leaks, and AHI From the Previous Night
  • Shows Data in a Bar Graph and Makes It Easy to View Previous Sessions
  • Breaks Down AHI Scores, Showing Clear Airway Apneas, Total Obstructive Apneas, and Total Hypopneas
  • Offers Coaching and Tips to Improve Your Therapy

Back to Top

ResMed myAir

Highlights:

  • Calculates a Composite Score of Your Sleep Based on Tracking
  • Get Tailored Coaching and Reinforcement
  • Watch Hours of Helpful Videos

Both apps are compatible with both iPhone and Android devices and are free to download. Since these apps provide somewhat limited information, it’s helpful to have a second app installed on your phone to enhance the data coming back every night.


There are several other sleep tracking apps on the market today and all are designed with one goal: to help you make sense of your sleep patterns and how to improve them. Sleep has such a significant impact on a person’s energy level and overall health. It’s important to resolve any issues you may have and sleep apps can help you do just that.

While helpful, these apps are not designed for you to self-diagnose sleep apnea. If you suspect you have sleep apnea based on what the app you use is telling you, the next step would be to meet with your doctor to determine the best course of treatment. If needed, they may recommend an in-lab or at-home sleep test that will help you determine whether or not you have any form of sleep apnea as well as prescribe CPAP therapy.

15 Comments

  1. Is there some type of study which can prove that people suffering from apnea live a shorter life than those who don’t?

  2. Is there an app where I can record my numbers manually without having to use a modem?

      • Armando Mota Reply

        Please Carol, is there any app for wake me up when in apnea situation? Since I am using one smartwatch that tells me the low breath issues, wich ocurs 3 times in week… but I would like some device or app to wake me just when in this moments…

        • Hi Armando, my apologies, but I’m not aware of a device available at this time that will wake you when an apnea is occurring. Have you recently had a sleep study? If not, I would recommend you speaking with your doctor to confirm if you are a good candidate for one.

          If you’re found to have sleep apnea, your doctor will provide you information on the treatment that will best fit your needs.

          For further questions, or concerns, please reach us at: 1-800-356-5221, or you may e-mail: cpap@cpap.com.

          Have a great day!

  3. I keep waking up every 3to4 hours.dreammapper app only gives me combined time. I’d like to track the lapse in sleep. Is thier an app for this?

  4. Sleep as Android literally saved my life. My wife had been telling me for years that I would stop breathing in my sleep, but not until I actually heard the audio of it on the app did I decide that I had to do something about it.

    • Hi Deric, we are very happy to hear that you took the initiative to seek proof and receive the help you needed. Thank you for sharing with us.

      If you ever have any questions, or concerns, please feel free to reach us at: 1-800-356-5221, or you may e-mail us at: cpap@cpap.com.

      Best Wishes!

  5. Is there an application who rings an alarm to wake you up when you start a sleep apnea during the night? Something that could really save a life?

    • Hi Beatrice, i’m not aware of such a device that will alert you to an apnea, during the night.

      Have you already had a sleep study? If not you should contact your doctor to confirm if you would benefit from having one. If you’re found to have sleep apnea, at your doctor’s discretion, you may be prescribed a life saving CPAP machine.

      For further questions, or concerns, please feel free to reach us at: 1-800-356-5221, or you may e-mail us at: cpap@cpap.com.

      We wish you the best!

  6. Are there any apps that take data from Resmed myAir and can share with Apple Health? I’d like to use my CPAP machine to do the sleep tracking, instead of a watch, etc.

    • Hi Sebastian, my apologies, but the last information we received from ResMed is they would love to provide MyAir data in Apple Health however HealthKit, does not currently integrate with therapy data.

      I would encourage you to contact ResMed, directly to confirm if there is any app in development, or if any progress has been made on making an app available.

      You can reach ResMed at: 800-424-0737. For further questions, or concerns, please feel free to reach us at: 1-800-356-5221, or you may e-mail us at: cpap@cpap.com.

      Best Wishes!

  7. My friend tends to have involuntary spasms as he sleeps. Once or twice he has jerked awake as though he was holding his breath. He does not snore though. Could this be a sign of sleep apnea? Would an app help to monitor this?

Write A Comment