Ever wonder how stress, caffeine, or alcohol affect your sleep? Or how effective hitting that snooze bar really is? Enter the Somnus Sleep Shirt, an easy-to-wear diagnostic tool for monitoring your slumber. The form-fitting shirt is embedded with thin respiration sensors that measure quality of sleep.
Devices that record physical responses during sleep are not new. But most require the subject to wear an unnatural contraption on their head to track electrical activity from the brain and muscles, eye movement, and heart and breathing rates. The sleep shirt, codeveloped by Thomas Lipoma ’11, Carson Darling ’11, and Pablo Bello ’11 in conjunction with MGH sleep neurologist Matt Bianchi, measures just breathing patterns, a still experimental way to analyze sleep, but Bianchi has been testing it against traditional methods in his sleep clinic and soon home trials will begin. Learn how breathing signifies different stages of sleep in this Technology Review article about the shirt.
A small SleepLogger device fits into a pocket at the bottom of the shirt and can record 2-5 nights worth of data, depending on length of sleep (so I’m guessing that’s more if you’re an MIT student?). Data is uploaded to Nyx Devices, the company cofounded by the three recent grads to sell the shirt. The trio plans to develop an online sleep journal for customers to track their results. A consumer version of the shirt is expected next summer, with a projected retail price of less than $100.
Lipoma has been posting his data online, and it’s interesting to see how prolonged sleep deprivation, stress, and even falling asleep with the TV on change his sleep patterns. He’s currently blogging about his study gauging the effects of caffeine on his sleep.