Automatic fall asleep detection

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Automatic fall asleep detection

There is a large and growing interest from you, users of Sleep as Android, in automatic fall asleep detection.

Sleep as Android does NOT offer automatic fall asleep detection.

What? Others do have it. Why not Sleep as Android?

The truth is, others do not have it. They claim it in their marketing materials, and they also trigger their sleep tracking at certain times. But more often than not, you are not really sleeping at those times.

Heck, you are often not even using the device.

Why is that?

To detect falling asleep reliably is a really tough task. There’s a reason why Apple currently makes big waves with their new detection mechanisms like trying to estimate your daily routine and detect your before-bed rituals like toothbrushing.

Because it is next to impossible to detect a sleeping person using just an accelerometer and/or heart beat sensor.

What are the issues?

A large problem is distinguishing between a sleeping person and a person lying in the bed calmly, but awake. For example, someone reading or doing something on a smartphone.

So what does Sleep as Android do?

We are actively researching bleeding edge methods that we could use or combine to reliably detect falling asleep.

So far, however, we didn’t find any method that would be good enough to be put in Sleep as Android. We do not want to employ any half-baked attempts at this. We have to be sure that what we implement actually works.


17 thoughts on “Automatic fall asleep detection

  1. Sorry but my Sony (now kind of a really old model) Smartband Talk gets when I fall asleep, does not confuse being in bed quietly watching TV (some very rare days has happened maybe some positioning) does recognize awake on point. No idea about Apple but if it gets better than what this band does recognizing sleep, (does shows sleep phases not sure about that I don’t understand it myself to judge..), then I’m excited for it even if I don’t like Apple products at all. Sony stopped developing these bands and lots of other stuff, now you guys say a definite NO. A really bummer, specially having a good gear but not compatible with Sleep as android at all 😢

  2. I thing Samsung health has a good estimate, though they can’t record sleep cycle (rest, rem, awake, etc) I find that when I forget to start my sleep app Samsugn Health captures the time I fell asleep and woke up based in none use of phone. I don’t know how it doesn’t capture other none use times (like during work since I’m not allowed to have my phone at work so it sits in the car for 8+ hrs without being in use). When i forget to use the app im kust loominh to make sure im maintaining a fairly routine fall asleep and wake up sked.

      1. That’s because you wear your watch for the whole day, so it gathers data about your movement very closely. You cannot do this with your phone. For most people, their phone doesn’t move everywhere they do. For example in the evening at home, often the phone would just lie somewhere, maybe on your bedside table, but you might go brush your teeth, shower etc. This is a big difference when trying to detect sleep onset.

  3. A good start to automate recordings is calculate average of first fall asleep start times and use that average time as start point of recording. SAA should absolutely have automated recording start feature because it is annoying to wake up and notice that you havent started sleep recording last evening…

    1. It’s much more complicated than that if you do not want to annoy the users by starting sleep tracking at unpredictable times – as average can be unpredictable a lot if you have e.g. 2 hour range in which you go to sleep.

    1. You might have routines that fall exactly into the prediction patterns of the Mi Band, but for other people it is not working. Just try to read in the bed for an hour and you’ll most probably get detected as asleep.

      1. Mi Band 2 mechanism is working for me as well. It’s true that it might not work for all people perfectly but it would be nice to have such a possibility for us (people who probably have some regular daily patterns). You would satisfy at least some people (and I believe there is lots of people like me or Aleksandr) while you might develop your own mechanism. Mark the feature as experimental and users will find out if it’s working and thus useful for them or not.

        I am now thinking about quitting using SaA (and MiBand Tools) just because of this. Mi Band 2 tracks my sleep without my interaction. Their app doesn’t have so many options and is not so good as SaA but it doesn’t force me to start the sleep tracking manually.

        I really would love to have this feature in SaA even though it might not work for all people.

  4. Autostart at average/most common fall asleep time really seems like a good idea to me.
    Because if you are awake you can always shut it down if it where to start when you are awake and also it would not be difficult to erase that “unwanted” recording.

  5. I have a Pebble Smartwatch and I have to say the sleep detection is very accurate most of the time. Seeing as this already integrates with Sleep as Android I wondered if there would be any way to start sleep tracking when my watch does? 🙂

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