Smart pyjamas which help people sleep by monitoring heartbeat, breathing and posture could be available in two years

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Smart pyjamas which help people sleep by monitoring heartbeat, breathing and posture could be available in two years



HIGH tech ‘smart’ pyjamas that monitor heartbeat, breathing and sleep posture to give you the perfect night’s rest could soon be available, scientists have revealed.
Within two years the “smart” nightwear costing between £75 and £150 could monitor and help improve sleep.
SWNS:South West News Service High-tech pyjamas which help you get a better nights sleep could be on the market in two years time
The person will not notice they are wearing the five self-powered sensors but they will provide a continuous monitoring of heartbeat, breathing and sleep posture – all factors that play a role in how well a person slumbers.
The feedback can help improve sleep patterns by highlighting what is going wrong.
Getting enough quality sleep can help protect people against stress, infections and multiple diseases, such as heart and kidney disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
And previous research has found quality sleep also increases mental acuity and sharpens decision-making skills.
SWNS:South West News Service Ordinary-looking pyjamas are transformed into ‘smart’ ones with five sensors that measure heartbeat, respiration and posture
Yet most people do not get enough sleep, or the right kind.
Associate Professor Dr Trisha Andrew at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, said: “Smart apparel with embedded self-powered sensors can revolutionise human behaviour monitoring by leveraging everyday clothing as the sensing substrate.
“The key is to inconspicuously integrate sensing elements and portable power sources into garments while maintaining the weight, feel, comfort, function and ruggedness of familiar clothes and fabrics.
“Our smart pyjamas overcame numerous technical challenges “We had to inconspicuously integrate sensing elements and portable power sources into everyday garments, while maintaining the weight, feel, comfort, function and ruggedness of familiar clothes and fabrics.BILLION DOLLAR INDUSTRY
“We also worked with computer scientists and electrical engineers to process the myriad signals coming from the sensors so that we had clear and easy-to-understand information.”
The sleep industry is booming worth nearly $29 billion in the US alone.
Although some manufacturers of smart mattresses claim the products can sense movement and infer sleep posture, they do not provide detailed information to the sleeper and are not portable for travel.
Commercially available electronic bands worn on the wrist give information about heart rate and monitor how much total sleep the wearer gets.
The key to the smart pyjamas is a process called reactive vapour deposition
But until now, there has not been anything that a typical consumer could use to monitor posture and respiratory and cardiac signals when slumbering.
The key to the smart pyjamas is a process called reactive vapour deposition.
Prof Andrew explained: “We use reactive vapour coating to transform commonly-available, mass-produced fabrics, threads or premade garments into a plethora of comfortably-wearable electronic devices by directly coating them with uniform and conformal films of electronically-active conjugated polymers.
“This method allows us to synthesise a polymer and simultaneously deposit it directly on the fabric in the vapour phase to form various electronic components and, ultimately, integrated sensors.THE ‘PHYJAMA’
“Unlike most electronic wearables, the vapour-deposited electronic polymer films are wash-and-wear stable, and they withstand mechanically demanding textile manufacturing routines.”
The “Phyjama,” as the scientist calls it, has five discrete textile patches with sensors in them, interconnected using silver-plated nylon threads shielded in cotton.
The wires from each patch end up at a button-sized printed circuit board placed at the same location as a pyjamas button.
Data are wirelessly sent to a receiver using a small Bluetooth transmitter that is part of the circuitry in the button.
Alamy The nightwear is set to cost between £75 and £150
The garment includes two types of self-powered sensors that detect “ballistic movements,” or pressure changes. Four of the patches are piezoelectric and detect constant pressures, such as that of a bed against a person’s body.
These first-of-their-kind patches are used in different parts of the “Phyjama” so that the researchers can determine sleeping posture. However, this type of sensor cannot pick up the faint pressure from a beating heart.
The triboelectric patch detects quick changes in pressure, such as the physical pumping of the heart, which provides information on heart rate.
This is the first time such a sensor has been shown to detect tiny ballistic signals from the heart.
The nightwear has been tested on volunteers and the team is in talks with a manufacturer.
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The technology is being expanded to wearable electronic sensors that detect gait and send feedback to a monitor to help prevent falls in residents living in care homes and sheltered accommodation.
The results were presented at the American Chemical Society (ACS) Spring 2019 National Meeting & Exposition in Orlando.
Prof Andrew concluded: “We will describe our efforts in monitoring heart rate, breathing, joint motion/flexibility, gait and sleep posture using loose electronic garments and highlight collaborative endeavours to combine signal processing, machine learning and human factor integration to predict behaviour in selected at-risk populations.”
Want a good night’s sleep? Give your pillow the press test to see if it needs replacing

 

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