Start-up Nyx Devices has developed an electronic knit pajamas to monitor the breathing patterns of the wearer. A small chip in a shirt pocket processes the data to determine the phase of sleep the person wearing pajamas is in: such as the REM phase (when we dream), the light sleep phase or the deep sleep phase. .
When people with sleep disorders spend the night in a sleep laboratory, they are connected to a complex set of sensors that monitor brain activity, muscle activity, eye movements, and heart and respiratory rates. The Somnus shirt from Nyx simplifies this considerably, focusing only on breathing.
During the REM phase, the breathing pattern is irregular, with differences in the size of the breaths and the spacing between them. Breathing during deep sleep follows an orderly pattern. The lightest non-REM sleep stages fall somewhere between the previous two.
Users can record their habits, such as alcohol or coffee consumption, exercise or stress, and look for patterns of how these variables affect their quality of sleep.
Breath-based sleep phase analysis is still considered experimental, but Bianchi is testing the device on patients who come to his sleep clinic, who are also being evaluated using standard technology, known as polysomnography. . Soon, the team will begin testing these pajama shirts at home to further validate their use outside the lab. The company hopes to have a product available on the market by the summer of 2012 for less than $ 100.
Source: Technology Review