Engineering Minute

Engineering Minute – Smart Pajamas Monitor Sleep

A group of researchers have developed a pair of smart pajamas embedded with self-powered sensors that continuously monitor the wearer's heartbeat, respiratory rate, and sleep position. The data collected from these smart pajamas could provide valuable insight into sleep patterns. The team's research was presented at the American Chemical Society Spring 2019 National Meeting & Exposition. 


“Our smart pajamas overcame numerous technical challenges,” says team lead Trisha L. Andrew, Ph.D.. “We had to inconspicuously integrate sensing elements and portable power sources into everyday garments, while maintaining the weight, feel, comfort, function and ruggedness of familiar clothes and fabrics. We also worked with computer scientists and electrical engineers to process the myriad signals coming from the sensors so that we had clear and easy-to-understand information.”


From the American Chemical Society article: "The garment includes two types of self-powered sensors that detect “ballistic movements,” or pressure changes. Four of the patches are piezoelectric. They detect constant pressures, such as that of a bed against a person’s body. These first-of-their-kind patches are used in different parts of the Phyjama so that the researchers can determine sleeping posture. However, this type of sensor cannot pick up the faint pressure from a beating heart. The triboelectric patch detects quick changes in pressure, such as the physical pumping of the heart, which provides information on heart rate. This is the first time such a sensor has been shown to detect tiny ballistic signals from the heart.

Andrew’s team has tested the garment on volunteers and validated the readings from the sensors independently. They also have applied for patents on the Phyjama. After Andrew partners with a manufacturer, she estimates the product could be on the market within two years for $100-$200."


Read more about the smart pajamas that monitor sleep at the American Chemical Society