Final Project Proposal


I’d like to explore sleep and dreams. Sleep is especially important to me because I’ve always had trouble sleeping. As a little kid, I’d have a terrible time falling asleep and staying asleep. Over the years, I have developed a lot of methods to help me sleep, like using lavender oil, sleeping with earplugs, and using a fan to add white noise. But I still suffer from sleepless nights… especially during finals. ahhh!

I’d like to use OpenBCI to measure my brain activity while sleeping. I plan to create a pillow that hides the OpenBCI pieces inside of it. I’d like to have some sort of physical output, like a spray of lavender oil, when the waves indicate that I’ve woken a bit. I know I will need to experiment to see what different waves are associated with different parts of sleep.

I’ve done a bit of research into sleeping brain waves vs. waking brain waves. Typically, the brain displays beta waves when it is actively awake and Alpha waves during relaxation while awake. However, when a person is drowsy and in the beginning stages of sleep, the brain displays theta waves. When they are deeply asleep, the brain displays delta waves. So, ideally, I will set the pillow up to spray a lavender scent into the air if it senses delta waves and then alpha or beta waves.


If I can’t piece together the intricacies of brain activity during sleep (which, I realize, is likely as I’m not a neuroscientist.. ) I will figure out a more humorous application of this approach – like maybe a little stuffy friend that sits on your nightstand and has a PIR sensor that would spray lavender scent when it senses my movement.


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