Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A New Awakening For Sleep Research

Date:
March 3, 2006
Source:
IST Results
Summary:
Whether you are having problems to stay awake or falling asleep, sleep science has yet offered little help, due to costly and complicated diagnostics and treatments. Researchers aim to drastically change this with a new way of measuring sleep.

Whether you are having problems to stay awake or falling asleep, sleep science has yet offered little help, due to costly and complicated diagnostics and treatments. Researchers aim to drastically change this with a new way of measuring sleep.

The IST project SENSATION is an ambitious project of 46 partners from 20 different countries, addressing sensing of physiological parameters, core computation, medical and industrial research. The aim is to take sleep research to a whole new level by developing a multipurpose sensing platform consisting of 17 micro sensors and two nano sensors, connected through a local area network.

“The sensors will allow you to sleep at home on, for instance, a mattress with sensors instead of going to a hospital which is much more comfortable and the test becomes more precise,” explains Dr Evangelos Bekiaris, project coordinator. Today, you will have to go to a hospital sleep lab for 1-2 nights and have your sleep measured to evaluate your sleep. “These tests are costly and since monitoring sleep cannot be done in your home environment they are not as reliable,” says Bekiaris.

The sensors will be integrated into a wide range of materials such as bed and pillow textiles, wrist straps, seat linings and the frames of glasses. Wirelessly integrated through a computer network they will measure your brain activity, heart rate, eye and muscle movements during your waking and sleeping hours. The data will be collected in a body area network, wirelessly transferred to a local area network and then sent to the hospital for analysis, Bekiaris explains. The sensors can also be used for safe monitoring and early warning of people while driving or supervising a critical task, like the operators of nuclear power stations or air traffic controllers, before they fall asleep and cause an accident.

The project is now halfway through its funding period and is already showing a lot of tangible results. The first stage of the project involved data collection, setting up of databases and formulating recommendations for the development of sensors.

“We have developed something which is truly unique, with two extensive databases of sleep data, one with data of normal sleep with 350 participants and another one with sleep data of 400 people monitored while working or driving, crossing the stage between vigilant to sleep,” says Bekiaris. “About half of these people were tested in a driving simulator but the other half was tested driving on highways with double command cars. The tests show a significant difference in the persons reactions, as the persons in the simulator were more calm, knowing they were part of a test, whereas the people on the highways were really fighting sleep.” It shows that when monitoring people in their daily lives there are significant differences in result, he continues.

The project, spanning such a vast research area, has the potential for a strong impact. According to statistics 25 per cent of the traffic accidents in the UK, or 40 per cent in the US, is related to driver fatigue. The project estimates that the SENSATION sleep platform with its sensors could reduce serious road accidents by 30 per cent and industrial accidents by over 15 per cent.

Although one of the main areas is to develop sensors to measure the waking state of a person, both the collected data from the project and the final results can prove to be useful for further research. “Take falling asleep at workplaces as an example,” he says. “Today you have techniques that might alert you as you fall asleep, but what we want is a system that will alert the person already before this happens. In some work environments or while driving it might already be too late if you have started dozing off.”

The applications are vast. You could monitor aircraft pilots to make sure they are awake. It could be used to monitor babies and prevent cot death, or in sleep management, to evaluate your own sleep and from this plan shift work according to people’s biorhythms, Bekiaris explains.

“We currently have nine sensors ready and plan to present the first sensors and prototypes at the International conference on ‘Monitoring sleep and sleepiness - from physiology to new sensors’ which will be held in Switzerland 29-30 May 2006,” says Bekiaris.

Real-life tests of the prototypes and the entire sleep platform are planned to start by the beginning of next year.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by IST Results. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

IST Results. "A New Awakening For Sleep Research." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 March 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060303203945.htm>.
IST Results. (2006, March 3). A New Awakening For Sleep Research. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060303203945.htm
IST Results. "A New Awakening For Sleep Research." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060303203945.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Coffee Then Napping: The (New) Key To Alertness

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) Researchers say having a cup of coffee then taking a nap is more effective than a nap or coffee alone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

Young Entrepreneurs Get $100,000, If They Quit School

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) Twenty college-age students are getting 100,000 dollars from a Silicon Valley leader and a chance to live in San Francisco in order to work on the start-up project of their dreams, but they have to quit school first. Duration: 02:20 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Baby Babbling Might Lead To Faster Language Development

Newsy (Aug. 29, 2014) A new study suggests babies develop language skills more quickly if their parents imitate the babies' sounds and expressions and talk to them often. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins