Wake up refreshed with a brain-monitoring alarm clock

Wake up refreshed with a brain-monitoring alarm clock
Wakey, wakey! Wake up refreshed with a
brain-monitoring alarm clock
20 October 2011
We all know the feeling, the short, sharp shock of
waking to the sound of an alarm clock. Whether
the traditional clattering metal bells, the incessant
beeping of digital or the dulcet tones of today's
radio news reader. Even the chance to slap the
snooze button to grab a few extra moments
between the sheets does not leave everyone
feeling refreshed when they finally crawl out of
bed. Now, researchers in India think they have the
answer.
Writing in a forthcoming issue of the International
Journal of Biomedical Engineering and
Technology, the researchers describe an alarm
clock that monitors your brain activity and triggers
its alarm within a time window you set in advance
but only when your brain is in a more easily roused
state rather than deep sleep. "By using such an
alarm clock, the user will wake feeling much more
refreshed than if they were awakened by a
conventional alarm clock that rings at a set time,"
explains Jemina Asnoth Sylvia of Jerusalem
College of Engineering in Tamil Nadu.
take advantage of this requires putting EEG scalp
electrodes on the head to monitor brain activity and
to hook the output to a modified alarm clock. Once
out of the experimental stage, the team envisages
a head-band worn while sleeping that uses wireless
electrodes.
In tests, the alarm time is set and the monitoring
process is set to begin 90 seconds before the alarm
time. An onboard computer determines what stage
of their brain activity cycle the sleeper is in during
the 90-second monitoring time. If they are in the 3rd
or 4th stage of sleep, the alarm is "snoozed"
automatically. However, if they are in stage 1 or 2
of sleep, the more arousable stages, the alarm is
sounded to wake the sleeper.
The team adds that it is feasible to record brain
activity during the night to obtain a so-called
"hypnogram" to determine how well you are
sleeping overall. This would allow you to adjust
your alarm time so that the monitoring window
coincided more often with stage 1 or 2. That might
mean an earlier alarm call, up to 45 minutes earlier,
Sleep is a behavioral state that is a natural part of but it would be a gentler more refreshed
every individual's life. We spend about one-third of awakening. Of course, the converse would also be
our lives asleep. Although the precise functions of possible - a "snooze" or 45 minutes and an even
more rested and refreshed awakening. Just don't
sleep remain a mystery, sleep is important for
blame the researchers if you are late for work!
normal motor and cognitive functions as well as
growth and rejuvenation of the immune, nervous,
skeletal and muscular systems. After waking
More information: "Alarm clock using sleep
naturally, we recognize changes that have
analysis" in International Journal of Biomedical
occurred, as we feel rested and more alert.
Engineering and Technology, 2011, 7, 148-164
However, many people use an alarm clock to wake
them at a set time, which is when problems occur
for some of us.
Provided by Inderscience Publishers
The researchers point out that sleep usually
involves 90-minute cycles of brain activity during
which there are periods when the brain is most
arousable. If a person is woken, from a night's
sleep, during such an arousable period in the
cycle, they will feel more refreshed than if they are
woken during a deeper part of the sleep cycle. To
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APA citation: Wakey, wakey! Wake up refreshed with a brain-monitoring alarm clock (2011, October 20)
retrieved 18 September 2017 from https://phys.org/news/2011-10-wakey-refreshed-brain-monitoringalarm-clock.html
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