Researchers from Lancaster University in the UK and Northwest University in China have developed an app for Smartwatches that can efficiently estimate sleep quality and provides users with practical advice to help them get a better night's snooze.
Results showed that "SleepGuard" can estimate sleep quality at a similar accuracy to consumer-grade sleep monitors.
SleepGuard can also count the number of times the wearer rolls over during sleep -- another indicator of sleep quality with excessive rollovers potentially indicating disturbed sleep.
The app is also able to capture key information about the factors behind sleep quality and can help wearers identify the root causes of their poor sleep.
"Sleep quality has been shown to depend on a wide range of factors, such as ambient light, noisiness as well as breathing patterns, sleeping postures and bedtime routines," said Dr Zheng Wang, Senior Lecturer at Lancaster University and co-author of the research.
"SleepGuard" was tested on 15 participants. It tracks a combination of different non-biomedical factors -- including body movements, sounds related to sleep disorders and ambient lighting.
"Our project aims to unlock the full potential of off-the-shelf consumer smartwatches, taking advantage of their sophisticated suite of sensors to gain a fuller understanding of a wearer's sleep patterns," said Dr Petteri Nurmi, a Lecturer from Lancaster University and co-author of the work.
The team hopes the technology can help users to have a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of their sleep and enable them to take informed actions to improve the quality of their sleep and, as a result, their health.
"When compared to existing sleep monitors on the market, SleepGuard is able to report a wider range of sleep events and provide wearers with a better understanding for the causes of their sleep problems," noted Dr Liqiong Chang, Assistant Professor at Northwest University.