E354 - Institute of Electrodynamics, Microwave and Circuit Engineering
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Thermoregulation; sleep onset; vasodilatation in distal skin regions; bed temperature control
Thermoregulation and sleep are interrelated in the way that humans normally sleep during 24 hour cycle of their core body temperature. In the evening when the body metabolism is reduced, heat redistributes from the core to the shell of the body. Vasodilatation in distal skin regions participates in this process and promotes sleepiness and onset of sleep. The object of this project was to develop a Sleep Management System, a device that could improve sleeping. Beside elderly people that often exhibit a disturbed sleep and wake cycle, there is also a broad population with lower capacity to lose heat that among other difficulties has prolonged sleep onset latency. For this population, such system could improve the quality of life.<br />We have built the device which is able to influence sleeping by following a predefined sleeping algorithm. According to this algorithm, in the beginning of the night, bed under sleeper's legs is warmed to help the process of vasodilatation. After the person is asleep, temperature of the bad under the legs gradually reduces for a small amount. Before a person should wake up, bed under the legs is cooled in order to start the metabolism and thereby awakening.<br />The results showed that by using this device, sleeping could be influenced. Onset of sleep could be shortened, sleep continuity improved and early morning awakening prevented. Cooling of the bed under the legs could initiate metabolic processes.