Your Smartphone Could Soon Track Your Sleep and Listen Out for Sleep Disorders

Researchers are working on a more convenient way to track your breathing while you sleep: by putting a microphone-equipped pair of earphones and a smartphone on your bedside table. The technology could make tracking sleep disorders easier than visiting a sleep lab.
A team at Stevens Institute of Technology and Florida State University conducted a six-month study in which earbuds that included an in-line microphone were plugged into an iPhone that recorded sounds as six people slept.
The researchers say that even with the earphones placed on a table next to the bed, they were able to use the microphone to monitor participants’ breathing to within half a breath per minute of what could be recorded with a chest-worn respiration monitor and a microphone clipped to participants’ collars. Yingying Chen, an associate professor at Stevens, says researchers plan to release a smartphone app related to their work next year.
Such an app could make it easier and cheaper to accurately keep tabs on the quality of your sleep than sensor-laden wristbands or devices that sit on or beneath the mattress. Despite immense growth in the capabilities and sheer number of consumer-geared wearable activity trackers, they can be uncomfortable to wear or use, and accuracy varies.