Monitor Sleep With a Self-Powered Smart Pillow

Those who are interested in better dealing with what is happening to them at night have two primary options. They can perform a sleep test at a medical facility or use the app on a smartphone or smartwatch — a more convenient, but less accurate choice. Recognizing the need, many groups have begun to develop new sleep monitoring systems using triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs).

These self-powered systems take the form of eye masks, belts, patches and bed sheets. Ding Li, Zhong Lin Wang and their colleagues wanted to modify this approach to create a more comfortable version over the movement of the head during sleep.


To create this new smart pillow, researchers developed a flexible, porous polymer triboelectric layer. The motion between the head and this layer converts the electric field around the adjacent electrodes and creates current. Many of these self-propelled sensors were combined to create a flexible and breathable TENG (FB-TENG) array that could be placed on top of a normal pillow.

This system can generate a voltage similar to the amount of pressure used, and it can monitor the movement of the finger detecting the letters. FB-TENG can catch the pressure spread of a fake human head. Researchers say that this smart pillow could be used beyond monitoring sleep using a sensor.

For example, this sensor monitors patients with diseases that affect the movement of the head, that is, degenerative neck disorder cervical spondylosis. What’s more, they say that the smart pillow could be modified to provide an early warning system for those at risk of falling out of bed.

Source: Medindia

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