Patrick Skluzacek was a typical father, husband and friend until he went to serve in Iraq. When he returned in 2007, his son Tyler didn't find the fun and outgoing dad he used to know. Patrick was now struggling with post-traumatic stress. Vivid nightmares would wake him up at night, making him dread just closing his eyes. But that was until his son pulled off something to solve the matter. Tyler, who was then a senior at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minn., seized the opportunity of a computer hackathon to work on programming a smartwatch that would vibrate when a sleeper who wears it is having a nightmare. After many trials and errors, Tyler was finally able to perfect the project: an app that provides "just enough stimulus to pull [the sleeper] out of the deep REM cycle and allow the sleep to continue unaffected," Tyler said. Last month, the app was approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Patrick's nights are no longer anxiety-ridden with nightmares, and others will soon benefit from his son's invention.

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