SleepWell – Development of a mobile multisensor system for sleep monitoring at home

The aim of the "SleepWell" project is to develop a multi-sensor system close to the ear that can be conveniently used by patients for sleep monitoring at home. In the process, the central sensor technology of polysomnography in the sleep laboratory is not dispensed with: electroencephalography, or EEG for short. This is used to measure brain activity with the help of electrodes on the scalp and thus draw conclusions about sleep phases.

Healthy sleep is divided into different sleep phases that runs in cycles. In sleep disorders, this rhythm is interrupted, and sleep is no longer restful. The direct consequences of sleep disorders are both limited performance and increased daytime sleepiness. In the long term, this can impair health. According to a 2017 study by the DAK, 80 percent of working people in Germany suffer from sleep problems. Since sleep disorders can be very diffuse, the barrier to seeing a doctor is much greater. A visit to the sleep lab often involves long waiting times and time-consuming data collection.

The intent of the project is therefore to collect high-quality data on sleep behavior in the home using sensors that can be attached by the patient, in order to give more people the opportunity to identify sleep problems in a low-profile way and also to be able to gain more insight into sleep through longer observation times - especially in connection with other diseases such as Alzheimer's or depression. 

Flexible, self-applied EEG electrode grid - development steps for sleep monitoring at home

© Fraunhofer IDMT/Wiebke Pätzold
Stage 1: cEEGrid + EOG (da Silva Souto et al., 2021)
© Fraunhofer IDMT/Wiebke Pätzold
Stage 2: foam trEEGrid (da Silva Souto et al., 2022)
© Fraunhofer IDMT/Anika Bödecker
Stage 3: trEEGrid prototype on a flexible printed circuit board, future development

The need for diagnostic capabilities for sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and insomnia far exceeds the capacity of inpatient sleep laboratories. Systems for screening or monitoring at home often omit electroencephalography (EEG) because specialized personnel are needed to apply the sensors. However, recording EEG is essential for accurate evaluation of microevents during sleep in relation to sleep disorders. Therefore, there is a need for systems and methods that allow convenient, discrete, and robust recording of sleep EEG at home.

Self-application is a challenge with wet EEG electrodes, but compared to dry electrodes, it gives hope for high wearing comfort with good signal quality. To this end, we used in our current study as a simple prototype made from commercially available pre-gelled neonatal ECG electrodes that could easily be attached by the user. The electrodes were embedded within a self-adhesive grid shape that functioned as a guide for the correct positioning of a total of nine electrodes on the face and around the ear. The sensor grid is used as a prototype for a future flex-printed grid.

Two studies were conducted to explore the usability of a self-adhesive grid for self-application and compare the signal quality with measured derived from PSG electrodes.

How to apply a flexible electrode patch

Privacy warning

With the click on the play button an external video from is loaded and started. Your data is possible transferred and stored to third party. Do not start the video if you disagree. Find more about the youtube privacy statement under the following link:

In the video, the team from the "Mobile Neurotechnologies" group clearly demonstrates how they attach the flexible electrode patch for the measurements and for which use cases it can be used.

More Information


Contactless health monitoring

The group »Mobile Neurotechnologies« is working on monitoring vital parameters: contactless, hygienic, and easy to set up.


Mobile EEG-Systems for better epilepsy treatment

Exactly recorded biosignals at the time of the seizure in everyday processes help in the classification of epilepsy disorders, in the optimal dosage of drugs - and perhaps in future even in the development of early warning systems. The project »MOND« contributes to research into these approaches.


An insight into our research

The EEG-Lab »to go«

An interview with Dr.-Ing. Insa Wolf about mobile EEG systems suitable for everyday use in the analysis of brain activity.


Oldenburg Branch for Hearing, Speech and Audio Technology HSA

The objective of the Oldenburg Branch for Hearing, Speech and Audio Technology HSA of the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT is to transfer scientific findings related to hearing perception and man-machine interaction into technological applications.

The Oldenburg Branch for Hearing, Speech and Audio Technology HSA is funded in the program »Vorab« by the Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture (MWK) and the Volkswagen Foundation for its further development.

Mobile Neurotechnologies

The group »Mobile Neurotechnologies« is working on discreet EEG systems for the analysis of brain activity - e.g. for safe workplace design or for use in health applications.