Photo: Lux Graves on unsplash

19. July 2021

Using digital tools to improve sleep

Digital help for people with sleep problems: A virtual sleep lab will offer digital sleep analysis as well as coaching for optimizing sleep hygiene and sleep environment.

Healthy sleep is a fundamental human need and an important basis for regeneration, both in leisure and competitive sports. However, around 20 to 25 percent of the population in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland suffer from poor sleep quality. Medically and scientifically supported sleep analysis in sleep laboratories can help many of these people, but unfortunately, sleep laboratories are usually fully booked for months. In addition, the unusual environment makes it difficult to accurately capture measurements. Possible affordable alternatives for home use, such as common wearables and sleep aid apps, often do not withstand scientific evaluation.

The virtual sleep laboratory aims to close these gaps. People with poor sleep quality receive a low-threshold and scientifically sound digital offering to improve their sleep quality. For this purpose, a sensor configuration for ambulatory sleep measurement is currently being developed. It should allow reliable analysis and at the same time be cost-effective and easy to use for the users, and deliver results wirelessly to a smartphone. Algorithms are being developed to derive a reliable assessment of sleep quality from the data using machine learning. The developed technology components and behavioral psychological interventions for sleep optimization and improvement will then be tested in a field study: 30 people will test the application and technology in their natural sleep environment.

The virtual laboratory is funded by the State of Salzburg as part of WISS 2025. Partners: University of Salzburg, Salzburg Research, Das Gesundheitshaus GmbH, Red Bull Athlete Performance Center.

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