Measuring Your Sleep Patterns At Home

Yesterday, I wrote about another link researchers discovered between obesity and one's sleep debt, which may explain why you may be noticing the people around you seem to be getting bigger, meaner and more exhausted than ever. And, if you're following many of the suggestions I list in my free sleep guide, I suspect you're already outperforming most people, if not be well equipped to avoid the grumpiest of them. But I digress...

Because I'm fond of gadgets, I was attracted to this New Scientist piece on the SleepSmart device that's fitted on a padded headband. This product functions as a natural alarm clock that measures one's sleep cycle, then begins the wakeup process when it naturally ends for the individual during the phase of light sleep.

How does it work? Equipped with a microprocessor and electrodes, the device records brain wave patterns during each phase of sleep. In essence, the SleepSmart measures the level of electrical activity in the brain, much as a EEG machine does, then sends the data to a clock near the bed. After programming the clock for the latest time you want to be woken up, the unit will will wake you before the last light sleep phase.

A group of students from Brown University invented the device after a friend complained about being groggy after taking a test. Smelling money, a group of investors from alumni and entrepreneurs jumped on the idea that should be rolled out as a product to consumers next year. If you're at all curious about the SleepSmart, take a look at the Axon Sleep Research Laboratories Web site.

Again, if you're following many of the suggestions in my sleep guide and eat an optimized diet based on your body's specific nutritional type, you're already way ahead of the game.

New Scientist April 14, 2005

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