This New Technology Could Monitor Your Sleep Without Even Touching You

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There are plenty of sleep tracking options on the market, ranging from wearables to mattress attachments. And now researchers at MIT have developed some new technology that may be able to monitor your sleep without touching you or your bed at all.

The device is about the size of a laptop, mounted on a wall nearby, and uses radio waves that reflect off your body. The technology analyzes these reflections and uses them to determine what stage of sleep you’re in.

Credit: Shichao Yue / MIT

“Imagine if your Wi-Fi router knows when you are dreaming, and can monitor whether you are having enough deep sleep, which is necessary for memory consolidation,” lead researcher Dina Katabi, the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, said in a press release about the technology. “Our vision is developing health sensors that will disappear into the background and capture physiological signals and important health metrics, without asking the user to change her behavior in any way.”

The researchers tested the device on 25 healthy volunteers and found that the sleep tracking technique was roughly 80 percent accurate — about as accurate as the ratings sleep specialists can get from EEG measurements.

Credit: Shichao Yue /MIT

The technology may be particularly useful when it comes to tracking sleep for medical reasons, a process that typically requires attaching sensors directly onto a patient in the clinical setting of a sleep lab.

“Our device allows you not only to remove all of these sensors that you put on the person, and make it a much better experience that can be done at home, it also makes the job of the doctor and the sleep technologist much easier,” Katabi says. “They don’t have to go through the data and manually label it.”

Sounds like this new device may have a bright future.

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Joe Auer

Joe Auer is the editor of Mattress Clarity. He mainly focuses on mattress reviews and oversees the content across the site.

He likes things simple and take a straightforward, objective approach to his reviews. Joe has personally tested nearly 250 mattresses and always recommends people do their research before buying a new bed. He has been testing mattresses for over 5 years now, so he knows a thing or two when it comes to mattress selection. He has been cited as an authority in the industry by a number of large publications.

Joe has an undergraduate degree from Wake Forest University and an MBA from Columbia University.