Measuring the quality and quantity of sleep at home

February 7, 2014

Difficulty falling asleep, frequent waking, poor quality of sleep and a variety of sleep-related breathing problems are very common – they afflict approximately a third of the population.

"Discovering an easy way to track could help improve . The current measuring methods are uncomfortable and designed mainly for medical diagnoses, so they are unsuitable for measuring sleep independently at home," explains Joonas Paalasmaa, who defended his doctoral dissertation in computer science at the University of Helsinki, Finland, on 7 February.

Paalasmaa's dissertation demonstrates a new measuring method which makes it possible to easily measure the quantity and quality of sleep in your own bed.

A flexible film sensor is placed under the bed sheets to measure the sleeper's movement, heart rate and breathing. The sensor can obtain a great deal of sleep-related information from the measurements, such as the amount of sleep, snoring, and resting heart rate at night. This information is displayed to the user through an online service or mobile device.

The benefit of the measuring system is that the heart rate and breathing data can be measured even though the sensor is not in direct contact with the sleeper's body. The new signal processing methods can detect and breathing from the signals, as different forms of interference are accounted for in the algorithm.

The sleep measuring system already has a practical application, and the product is available on the market. In its commercial form, the sensor sends its measured data wirelessly to a mobile device which then displays the information to the user. A mobile app then provides instructions for improving sleep, based on the measurements and the user's profile.

Explore further: Patients with spinal cord injuries should be assessed for sleep apnea

Related Stories

Patients with spinal cord injuries should be assessed for sleep apnea

January 15, 2014
A new study suggests that patients with spinal cord injuries could benefit from careful assessment for sleep apnea.

Spotting sleep problems in special-needs children

March 5, 2013
(HealthDay)—About 30 percent of children have a sleep disorder, but the rate is even higher in children with special needs, an expert says.

To sleep: perchance to dream ...

July 24, 2013
"Sleep is the best medicine," says the old proverb. But many adults don't benefit enough from sleep, with as many as 60 percent reporting sleep problems at least several nights a week.

Recommended for you

Despite benefits, half of parents against later school start times

August 18, 2017
Leading pediatrics and sleep associations agree: Teens shouldn't start school so early.

Doctors exploring how to prescribe income security

August 18, 2017
Physicians at St. Michael's Hospital are studying how full-time income support workers hired by health-care clinics can help vulnerable patients or those living in poverty improve their finances and their health.

Schoolchildren who use e-cigarettes are more likely to try tobacco

August 17, 2017
Vaping - or the use of e-cigarettes - is widely accepted as a safer option for people who are already smoking.

Study shows cigarette makers shifted stance on nicotine patches, gum

August 17, 2017
The use of nicotine patches, gum, lozenges, inhalers or nasal sprays—together called "nicotine replacement therapy," or NRT—came into play in 1984 as prescription medicine, which when combined with counseling, helped ...

In a nutshell: Walnuts activate brain region involved in appetite control

August 17, 2017
Packed with nutrients linked to better health, walnuts are also thought to discourage overeating by promoting feelings of fullness. Now, in a new brain imaging study, researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) ...

Federal snack program does not yield expected impacts, researchers find

August 17, 2017
A well-intentioned government regulation designed to offer healthier options in school vending machines has failed to instill better snacking habits in a sample of schools in Appalachian Virginia, according to a study by ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.