Sleep apnea syndrome (SAS) is when a person stops breathing while they are asleep. This happens because their upper airway repeatedly collapses, causing them to wake up or not sleep as deeply as they should.
This common sleep disorder can cause distressing symptoms like headaches, irritability, depression and, of course, tiredness1. However, it can also lead to other serious consequences – and not just for the sufferer.
It’s thought that 15-20% of all motor vehicle crashes are sleep-related2. And, with around 100 million people worldwide suffering from some form of sleep disordered breathing (SDB) condition3, it’s an issue one Tokyo taxi firm felt it couldn’t ignore.
So they had their drivers take a very simple test. For one night, the participants wore a Philips WatchPAT* – a home sleep diagnosis device that clips on to the finger with no need for nasal cannulas or belts.
*only distributed/available in Japan
Shinobu Watanbe, one of their drivers, was surprised to learn he suffers from SAS. But, once he visited the hospital to have his diagnosis confirmed, he was on the road to recovery.