With the Apple Watch, users can already track their sleeping patterns. However, at WWDC 2021, Apple announced a major update to its smartwatches with watchOS 8 and one of the new features we can look forward to is sleep respiratory rate tracking. This is the measurement of the number of breaths you take per minute.

According to Apple, “To do this, Apple Watch uses the built-in accelerometer to measure respiratory rate while sleeping, and this information can be viewed, along with trends over time, in the Health app on iPhone.” So why is this important? Why should we measure the number of breaths we take per minute while we sleep?

This is because if you’ve ever woken up more tired than you were when you went to bed, or if you’re experiencing high blood pressure, one of the reasons could be due to what is known as obstructive sleep apnea. By measuring the number of breaths you take per minute, you might be able to get an idea of what’s wrong.

You can even take these numbers with you to a doctor who might be able to run further tests on you to see if you do suffer from the condition, and early detection could help prevent complications further down the line. This will be part of the watchOS 8 update that is expected to be released later this year.

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