Sleep Number Corp presented new research shedding light on the link between sleep abnormalities and heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), the most common cause of heart failure, at the Heart Failure Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting in Cleveland. 

Data presented show results of a study in collaboration with investigators at Mayo Clinic that leveraged longitudinal sleep data from Sleep Number smart beds with Mayo Clinic’s AI capabilities and clinical expertise.

In recent years, the prevalence of heart failure has increased, which is linked to a rise in HFpEF. This is a common but life-threatening syndrome in which the heart does not adequately relax between each heartbeat, so the pressure inside the heart rises. Diagnosing HFpEF can be challenging since a physician can’t detect it based on symptoms alone. Existing diagnostic criteria are obtrusive, requiring the use of tests such as cardiac catheterization or an echocardiogram, often during exercise. As a result, the prevalence of HFpEF is severely underreported.

It is also true that sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep apnea are associated with metabolic health and heart failure. To estimate the probability of HFpEF and understand the link between HFpEF and sleep quality, Mayo Clinic researchers developed an HFpEF probability model based on age and BMI. They then validated this model using exercise right heart catheterization, which helps physicians understand how well the heart is working when one is active or exercising. 

Researchers then collaborated with Sleep Number Corp to analyze a month’s worth of de-identified sleep data from 91,954 Sleep Number smart bed sleepers and self-reported sleep survey data submitted by 5,861 of those smart bed sleepers. Results will show the relation between HFpEF and sleep in a real-world, home environment.

The study was led by Yogesh NV Reddy, MD, a board-certified invasive cardiologist and heart failure specialist and consultant in the circulatory failure division and cardiac catheterization laboratory at Mayo Clinic. Reddy is a preeminent researcher focused on the diagnosis and treatment of HFpEF, pulmonary hypertension, and exercise physiology.

“By connecting sleep disturbances and HFpEF risk, this study could suggest that addressing sleep issues may potentially play a role in preventing or managing heart failure,” says Raj Mills, vice president of SleepIQ health and research at Sleep Number, in a release. “Our joint research introduces a new, potentially valuable tool for early detection of HFpEF, allowing for timely monitoring, lifestyle adjustments, and medical intervention. This could improve health care quality and outcomes. The broader public health implications of this research are vast, as they could lead to better-targeted preventive measures, more accurate diagnoses, and improved management strategies for those at risk of HFpEF.”

Sleep Number has over 22 billion hours’ worth of highly accurate sleep and biosignal data from its millions of Smart Sleepers, according to a release from the company. Today, the data are used by global research institutions to understand the impact of sleep on health and advance sleep science with individualized, actionable insights not previously available without an in-lab sleep study.

In the future, these proprietary data can potentially be instrumental in securing funded studies enabling research on a global scale, in partnership with physicians, health systems, and research institutions. The data will also be used to bring new health and wellness solutions to our smart sleeper community.

“This novel study highlights not only the important relationship between sleep and cardiovascular health but also the ways in which wellness technology companies can meaningfully connect real-world, longitudinal data with research to advance understanding of health outcomes,” says Annie Bloomquist, executive vice president and chief innovation officer at Sleep Number, in a release.