top of page

Acquiring rich longitudinal passive sleep data across childhood and adolescence

Funder: Medical Research Council (MRC) (£150k)
Project duration: 2023-2025
Principal Investigator: Dr Heather Whalley, University of Edinburgh
Collaborating Institutions: University of Edinburgh, Maynooth University, University of Glasgow

This project will use a co-designed research approach, tailored across age 8-18, to develop and evaluate an innovative passive sleep data collection method that has the potential to be used at scale in future studies of adolescent health. Through our strong collaborative links with our industry partner Somnofy, we will evaluate the utility across adolescence of a new generation of methods that measures sleep using remote data capture. These methods use sensors built into a device (similar to a smart speaker) that passively acquire rich longitudinal sleep data in the home whilst maintaining privacy. These small radar-based sleep monitors have the potential to overcome problems with existing wearable methods and can capture data over much longer periods of time. Due to their novelty, they require rigorous testing, in particular to ensure they are valid, acceptable, and feasible for child and adolescent samples.
Our project will consist of two phases:
  • in phase one will focus on co-production of guidelines for the use of remote sleep sensor devices in individuals 8-18yrs.
  • in phase two, we will develop a protocol that uses the device in young people’s bedrooms and evaluate key outputs (such as wakeup time, sleep onset and mid-sleep), against a standard method of measuring sleep (actigraphy).
​We will engage with young people by piloting a study in which they will be involved as product reviewers and citizen scientists. Product reviewers will examine the advantages and disadvantages of the device. Citizen scientists will assess relationships between sleep and bedroom physical factors (e.g. light, noise), also recorded by the device.
bottom of page