We have all had that situation where our alarm goes off and we wake up super drowsy despite getting at least 8 hours of sleep. It turns out, this drowsiness is due to sleep inertia, which is at its worst when we are woken up in REM or deep sleep.
What it does
Our device uses an 3-axis accelerometer and a noise sensor to detect when a user is likely in light sleep, which is often indicated by movement and snoring. We eliminate the use of a phone by placing all of the electronics within a stuffed bird that can be easily placed on the bed. The alarm only goes off if light sleep is detected within 30 minutes of a user-defined alarm time. The alarm time is set by the user through an app on their phone, and analytics and patterns about their sleep can be viewed on a phone app or through our web application.
How we built it
We first started with the hardware components of the system. All of the sensors are sourced from the MLH Hardware store, so we then needed to take the time to figure out how to properly integrate all the sensors with the Arduino/Genuino 101. Following this, we began development of the Arduino code, which involved some light filtering and adjustment for ambient conditions. A web application was simultaneously developed using React. After some feedback from mentors, we determined that putting our electronics in a watch wasn't the best approach and a separate object would be the most ideal for comfort. We determined that a stuffed animal would be the best option. At the time, we did not have a stuffed animal, however we figured out that we could win one from Hootsuite. We managed to get one of these animals, which we then used as housing for our electronics. Unfortunately, this was the farthest we could get with our technical progress, so we only had time to draw some mock-ups for the mobile application.
Challenges we ran into
We had some issues getting the sensors to work, which were fixed by using the datasheets provided at Digikey. Additionally, we needed to find a way to eliminate some of the noise from the sensors, which we eventually fixed using some low-pass, software filtering. A lot of time was invested in attempting to connect the web application to the electronics, unfortunately we did not have enough time to finish this.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're proud that we were able to integrate all of the electronics into a small stuffed bird that is self-powered.
What we learned
We learned quite a bit about the impact of sleep cycle on sleep inertia, and how this impacts daily activities and long-term health. We also learned a lot about software filtering and how to properly identify the most important information in a datasheet.
What's next for Sleep Sweet
We would first develop the connection between the electronics and the web application, and eventually the mobile application. After this, we would prefer to get more robust electronics that are smaller in size. Lastly, we would like to integrate the electronics into a pillow or mattress which is more desirable for adults.