Sleep labs have played a crucial role in understanding the human mind and its peculiarities, monitor sleep patterns and provide close to accurate readings. Now a new technology will shift the venue for monitoring sleep patterns from a designated sleep lab in the hospital to the comfort of your beds.
A pair of hi tech headbands created to monitor your sleep combine brainwave reading electrodes with advanced AI. Without the accompaniment of a hospital staff and the eerie hospital setting, this reading can be achieved in your own home. The technology is wireless. So imagine doing completely away with the scary wires tethered to your head and plugged in another reading machine. The technology has yet to undergo tests and trials to allow general use.
One of the leading devices in sleep monitoring is the Dreem headband, developed by a company of the same name based in Paris. The headband is made of a slim, breathable piece of fabric designed to wrap around the head, with a separate arch extending over the top. Seven electrodes line the inner portion, making contact with the scalp.
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The device monitors the electrical activity of the brain with the traditional electroencephalogram readings taken in a sleep lab. And, as in sleep lab studies, the headband also tracks head movement, heart rate, and respiration, relying on sound recordings and a miniature accelerometer like those found in smart phones. The tool thrives and is self operated, not needing the assistance of a technician unlike in sleep labs. Its collects data and transfers it to the phone. The technology will prove to be beneficial in studying addiction and sleep related disorders.
“Ultimately, I’m excited about all of these products that are coming along,” says Nathaniel Watson, a neurologist and sleep specialist at the University of Washington in Seattle who also uses the new sleep monitors in his lab. “They’re really improving our understanding of human sleep.”