Written by IEEE | August 1, 2018   |   Updated: May 4, 2021

Our quality of sleep is an integral part of our everyday lives, the subject of sleep is increasingly becoming a topic we talk about. But only recently has the topic become something that’s widely studied.

Before 1952, sleep studies focused on dreams and dream interpretations. Medical professionals did not become interested in understanding sleep physiology, sleep deprivation or treating sleep disorders until the 21st century.

Today, much has changed on the subject of sleep. It is common for doctors to ask you how much sleep you are getting and when you fall asleep at night. These questions help practitioners understand how your sleep habits are impacting your health.

Sleeping with AI and Machine Learning

Researchers at MIT are working on a way to capture sleep data wirelessly to measure and analyze sleep patterns. Using an artificial intelligence (AI) -enabled device that emits radio waves, and an algorithm that analyzes those signals, researchers gain the ability to monitor a person’s sleep quality in their natural environment for a long period of time, rather than forcing them to visit a lab. You can read more about it on IEEE Spectrum here.

Plus, the applications of this data go well beyond the study of sleep disorders. It’s important to gain insights into other factors that can affect sleep quality.

“Doing this wirelessly in your own bedroom, you could really see the impact of drugs, and progression of diseases by long-term monitoring,” says Dina Katabi, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, who led the work, according to the article.

Another emerging area in the study of sleep is the application of machine learning (ML). Mattresses can incorporate machine learning to help you have a better sleep environment. The bed will adjust to your sleep patterns by using air to reposition the mattress in real time. A similar ‘smart bed’ can gather data on your movement and position while sleeping. The technology also considers environmental factors that could be at play. The data can help you understand why you’re experiencing insomnia or sleep apnea at night.

“Tests on the prototype in controlled lab conditions highlighted that the mattress can reliably detect a subject’s position and motion, heart rate and breathing activity,” reports the study. “It correctly classifies four behavioral conditions — no bed occupancy, wakefulness, non-REM sleep, and REM sleep– which are the basis for creating an objective sleep quality index.”

Other Technologies for Sleep

Machine learning and AI are not the only way we’re now studying sleep behaviors. Wearables are increasingly becoming a popular method to study sleep.

An IEEE xplore study is testing wearable sensor technologies on people with sleep apnea. The technology monitors respiratory rate by placing a sensor on the person’s abdomen or even using a temperature sensor on their nose.

Wearable and other technologies are also being used to study people who do not have chronic sleep conditions. You can read more about other innovative sleep technologies being explored here

Do not lose hope if you have trouble sleeping or staying asleep. Sleep research is evolving with today’s newest technologies. This advancement may well lead to more products that can help you get a good night’s sleep.

INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES

How Technology Helps us Understand Our Health and Wellness

Creating Healthy Spaces Through Technology

The Resilience of Humanity

Harnessing and Sustaining our Natural Resources

Exceptional Infrastructure Challenges, Technology and Humanity

The Global Impact of IEEE's 802 Standards

Scenes of our Cyber Lives: The Security Threats and Technology Solutions Protecting Us

How Millennial Parents are Embracing Health and Wellness Technologies for Their Generation Alpha Kids

Space Exploration, Technology and Our Lives

Global Innovation and the Environment

How Technology, Privacy and Security are Changing Each Other (And Us)

Find us in booth 31506, LVCC South Hall 3 and experience the Technology Moon Walk

Virtual and Mixed Reality

How Robots are Improving our Health

IEEE Experts and the Robots They are Teaching

See how millennial parents around the world see AI impacting the lives of their tech-infused offspring

Take the journey from farm to table and learn how IoT will help us reach the rising demand for food production

Watch technical experts discuss the latest cyber threats

Explore how researchers, teachers, explorers, healthcare and medical professionals use immersive technologies

Follow the timeline to see how Generation AI will be impacted by technology

Learn how your IoT data can be used by experiencing a day in a connected life

Listen to technical experts discuss the biggest security threats today

See how tech has influenced and evolved with the Games

Enter our virtual home to explore the IoT (Internet of Things) technologies

Explore an interactive map showcasing exciting innovations in robotics

Interactively explore A.I. in recent Hollywood movies

Get immersed in technologies that will improve patients' lives