A new study finds that a fully-digital sleep depth measurement tool is helping experts gain a deeper understanding of sleep disorders and treatment options.

This study, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, looks at patients with obstructive sleep apnea using a measurement tool called the Odds Ratio Product (ORP Sleep Depth) from Cerebra to evaluate the impact of an intervention on sleep, finding sleep quality improved following continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment. It also showed that CPAP treatment has a varying effect on the sleep of the patient, indicating that some individuals may be more or less sensitive to any specific treatment approach.

“ORP Sleep Depth is an attractive measure not only in that it distills sleep depth to a single index but also because it can be obtained in an automated manner,” Charles Gerhard Penner, MD, FRCPC, lead researcher in the study, says in a statement.

Using digital sleep analysis fueled by ORP Sleep Depth, doctors can recommend and evaluate different treatment approaches for sleep apnea, based not only on their ability to open the airway, but also their impact on sleep depth and quality, according to the researchers.

Sleep measurement and analysis has traditionally required an overnight stay in a sleep lab, which meant doctors could diagnose and treat sleep apnea with limited ability to measure the impact of that treatment on sleep quality. Now, with Cerebra digital sleep analysis and ORP Sleep Depth, there is a way to measure patients’ sleep depth and quality both before and after treatment.

“Until now, management of sleep apnea, whether by CPAP or other approaches, has focused on keeping the airway open, while giving little consideration to the effect of the treatment on the person’s sleep,” says Dawson Reimer, CEO of Cerebra. “There is growing evidence that sleep itself, and not just air flow, is an important factor in caring for patients with sleep apnea.”