and an extensive and expensive sleep test is simply not an option, then a new technology may be of interest.
Research out of two universities in Finland has resulted in a brand new technology that may help to screen for and even diagnose sleep disorders. In fact, a new smart alarm clock for mobile phones harnesses this technology and may be the first health-promoting mobile phone. During the study itself, a very common microphone was noted to be very sensitive to sounds and movements produced in the bed during night-time sleep.
Using the information collected, the sleep research group developed a "smart alarm clock" for mobile phones, called HappyWakeUp. The smart alarm gives an alarm signal in the morning before the true alarm clock signal goes off to formally wake you up. The smart alarm is provoked by the waking movements and sounds we make as we are beginning to get ready to wake up from sleep. The smart alarm is typically going to arouse the person within the 20 minute period prior to full waking (caused by the regular alarm). If the person remains very quiet and calm - the the smart alarm will not be instigated and only the standard alarm will sound.
If you're wondering - what's the benefit? Well, we've all been awakened by the sound of the jarring and annoying alarm as it goes off and really makes you "jump awake." If you are coming out of sleep, this soft and smart alarm will help to prime you for the loud awake call that's coming. Researchers found that over time, use of the smart alarm primed your body to proper sleep rhythms and even helped your internal clock. Pleasant mornings help to lower stress levels that already begin with unpleasant morning wake ups.
This should not be considered a medical device but rather a tool to help people who suffer with mild or intermittent sleep issues. Nokia smart phones will be offering the technology. and because the phone microphone can detect noises in general, the hope is that it may be harnessed and used in the future to screen for restless leg syndrome, snoring and sleep apnea - with cost savings in mind.
Published On: October 14, 2008