How much did you sleep last night? You’ve probably got some idea – six hours? Seven? 10? But you don’t know exactly, do you? The only way of measuring that was to go visit a sleep clinic and have electrodes hooked up to your head while you try and pretend you’re at home with your teddy. Pretty soon, though, you’ll be able to monitor your sleep scientifically in the comfort of your own bed.
SleepMinder is a product from a company called BiancaMed. They describe it as a “Non-contact biosensor”, which means that it can monitor your sleep, respiration and other bio-paramaters without relying on sensors attached to your body.
What that means is a little beige box sitting on your bedside table gathering data constantly. From that data, it can do more than just tell you that you’ve been eating too much cheese before bed. Chronic conditions like diabetes, Alzheimers, heart failure and COPD affect sleep, heart-rate and breathing, so monitoring sleep patterns can be a valuable early warning system.
The first application that BiancaMed is considering putting the technology into is a baby montior. You’d be able to configure it to alert you if your kid stops breathing for more than 20 seconds, for instance. Then there’s the idea of putting it in a mobile phone so that you don’t need a bulky device sat on your bedside table all the time.
And in a worst case scenario, you’ll at least have some evidence for your boss when he’s complaining that you look like a zombie in the mornings. You didn’t just go to bed late, you suffer from sleep apnea – and you’ve got the graphs to prove it!