Sleep disorders affect a large percentage of the population; however, most disorders can only be diagnosed through the use of polysomnography.  In this overnight sleep study, patients are asked to sleep in a clinical lab attached to many different machines.  In addition, patients might be on a waiting list for up to a year before an available lab time comes up.  Current techniques are expensive, uncomfortable, and resource-consuming.  In an effort to meet the need for an affordable, at-home sleep monitoring system, SleepSmart was developed. SleepSmart is a low-cost mattress topper that detects body position, temperature and sleeping posture. It uses arrays of force sensitive resistors and thermistors to determine force and temperature distribution. Using the data from the sensors, sleeping posture can be predicted with high accuracy.  The frequency and magnitude of posture changes can be used to determine sleep quality by calculating the restlessness index. These sensors are all incorporated into a mattress topper which would replace a fitted mattress sheet, allowing for unobtrusive monitoring.

SleepSmart is in the prototyping stage, currently undergoing modifications that will allow for monitoring of heart rate and respiratory rate as well as improve on the existing temperature sensors.  The project is being funded by NeuroDevNet, a trans-Canada initiative dedicated to studying children’s brain development.  The final product will be used to assist in the diagnosis of sleep disorders of children with neurodevelopmental disorders.  In addition, SleepSmart will allow clinicians to gather a repository of physiological data that can be used in future analysis to further understanding of the relationship between sleep and brain development.

If you’re interested in participating, more details can be found here.





Supervisor: Machiel Van der Loos

Researcher: Yi Jui Lee