(19)
(11)EP 2 936 255 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
09.09.2020 Bulletin 2020/37

(21)Application number: 13834311.6

(22)Date of filing:  18.12.2013
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
G04G 11/00(2006.01)
G04G 13/02(2006.01)
G04C 21/38(2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/IB2013/061059
(87)International publication number:
WO 2014/097156 (26.06.2014 Gazette  2014/26)

(54)

WAKE-UP DEVICE

WECKERAPPARAT

DISPOSITIF DE RÉVEIL


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 18.12.2012 US 201261738473 P

(43)Date of publication of application:
28.10.2015 Bulletin 2015/44

(73)Proprietor: Koninklijke Philips N.V.
5656 AG Eindhoven (NL)

(72)Inventors:
  • BEREZHNYY, Igor
    5656 AE Eindhoven (NL)
  • OTERMANS, Pauldy, Cornelia, Johanna
    5656 AE Eindhoven (NL)
  • DIMOV, Jonche
    5656 AE Eindhoven (NL)
  • MAHMOUD NASER, Ibrahim
    5656 AE Eindhoven (NL)

(74)Representative: Freeke, Arnold 
Philips Intellectual Property & Standards High Tech Campus 5
5656 AE Eindhoven
5656 AE Eindhoven (NL)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-2007/012927
US-A1- 2012 289 867
US-A1- 2003 095 476
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION



    [0001] The present invention relates in general to a wake-up device for slowly and gently waking up a user by slowly increasing the intensity of a wake-up stimulus. Particularly, the present invention relates to a wake-up light where the stimulus is light. By slowly increasing the light intensity, sunrise is simulated, which gives the user a most natural wake-up experience.

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION



    [0002] Sleep is a physiological process that is commonly described in sleep stages deduced from measurements of brain activity and transition between these stages. One may for instance distinguish the stages of wake, light sleep, deep sleep, and REM (Rapid Eye Movements) sleep. In these stages, the arousal thresholds may differ (i.e. it may be more or less difficult to awaken a person by a certain stimulus), and when a person is made to awaken during these stages the effects on the person's experience of well-being may differ. Especially when a person is made to awaken while in deep sleep (slow-wave sleep, SWS), he may feel groggy and sleepy for some time, and it may take relatively long before this person is actually awake and feeling well. This phenomenon is also known as "sleep inertia".

    [0003] Sleep inertia is a very well-known problem and is a number one cause of stress during the morning rituals. The effect of sleep inertia is especially severe for persons of so-called late chrono type (also indicated as owls) when compared to those of so-called early chrono type (also indicated as larks). Owls suffer more for two scientifically confirmed reasons:
    1. 1) their circadian phase is not optimal for optimal performance in the morning;
    2. 2) sleep duration on workdays is shortened because of late sleep onset and early wake times, resulting in sleep deprivations; sleep deprivation in turn is known to result in an increased proportion of deep sleep, which increases the chances that this person needs to wake up from a deeper sleep.


    [0004] The classical wake-up device is an alarm clock. When he goes to sleep (or at an earlier point in time), the user sets a wake-up time. When the actual time of day becomes equal to the pre-set wake-up time, the alarm clock generates an audible stimulus (sound). When the user is in deep sleep at that moment, chances are that he will suffer from sleep inertia to some degree. Modern prior art wake-up devices such as Philips Wake-Up Light already reduce this problem of sleep inertia by means of introducing an artificial dawn effect.

    [0005] US 2003/095476 A1 discloses a waking system that wakes an individual gradually over a period of time in order to promote the wellness of the individual. The user has to set the system controller with a desired final wake-up time, which is the time that the user must be awake. When the actual time reaches a stimulus introduction time, i.e. some time prior to the desired final wake-up time, the system controller causes the introduction of a stimulus. The system further comprises a detection system that measures a parameter correlated to the individual's momentary sleep level, preferably body motion. This measured parameter is used in a feedback loop to control the level of stimulus experienced by the individual. In this manner, the user is woken gradually over a period of time between the stimulus introduction time and the desired final wake-up time without introducing any sudden shocks to the user's physiological systems.

    [0006] WO 2007/012927 A1 discloses an illumination system, comprising a lighting device and a manipulation device to be manipulated by the user when the user intends to fall asleep. The system further comprises a control unit for detecting a start time of measuring a sleep latency based on a manipulation time at which the user manipulates the manipulation device. The system also comprises a memory unit for storing a reference time obtained based on the start time of measuring the sleep latency detected by the control unit. The control unit includes a lighting device control subunit performing an illumination control to reduce the user's melatonin suppression from a preset timing before the reference time stored in the memory. The system further comprises a body movement measuring unit for detecting whether the user falls asleep. The control unit includes an evaluation subunit for evaluating the user's sleep quality based in a detection result of the body movement measuring unit and the start time of the sleep latency. The control unit displays the evaluation results on a display unit.

    SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



    [0007] Prior art wake-up devices of the type mentioned above do not take into account the stage of sleep of the user: they simply start a predetermined wake-up program at a predetermined time before the set alarm time. So, even though an effect comparable to the natural dawn effect is achieved, it may nevertheless still be that the user is in deep sleep at the alarm time. However, it is a scientific fact that, on average, a person woken up during a stage of light sleep will suffer much less from sleep inertia and will feel less groggy than when the same person is woken up during a stage of deep sleep. Consequently, it is desirable to be woken up during a light sleep stage.

    [0008] Therefore, the present invention aims to provide a wake-up device capable of increasing the chances that the user is awoken during a stage of light sleep.

    [0009] One possibility of implementing such a wake-up device would be by real-time monitoring of the sleep stages, and only generating an awakening stimulus when it is confirmed that the user actually is in a stage of light sleep. However, reliable real-time monitoring of sleep stages requires at least a set of three dry electrodes to be attached to the user's head throughout the night, which is uncomfortable for the user.

    [0010] According to an aspect not being part of the present invention, the quality of sleep of the user is monitored throughout the night, and the control device calculates an overall relative sleep quality parameter indicating the overall relative quality of sleep during the night. According to the present invention, parameters of the wake-up stimulus program are amended depending on the calculated overall relative quality of sleep.

    [0011] The present invention according to claim 1 provides a wake-up device comprising:
    • clock means for generating an actual time signal corresponding to an actual time of day;
    • wake-up timer means for generating a wake-up time signal corresponding to an intended time of waking up;
    • controllable wake-up stimulus means for generating at least one wake-up stimulus for causing a user to wake up, the wake-up stimulus having at least one variable stimulus quantity, wherein a wake-up effectiveness of the wake-up stimulus depends on a value of the stimulus quantity;
    • a control device having inputs coupled to receive the actual time signal and the wake-up time signal and adapted to generate a control signal for controlling the wake-up stimulus means;
      wherein the wake-up stimulus means is responsive to said control signal to vary the value of said stimulus quantity;
      and wherein the control device is adapted to generate the control signal such that the wake-up stimulus is generated in accordance with a predefined wake-up program, the wake-up program including:
      1. a) an initial value for the stimulus quantity of the wake-up stimulus, the initial value having a relatively low wake-up effectiveness;
      2. b) an end value for the stimulus quantity of the wake-up stimulus, the end value having a relatively high wake-up effectiveness;
      3. c) a wake-up duration tΔ, defining an advance time tA before the intended time of waking up tWU according to the formula tA = tWU - tΔ;
      4. d) wherein, at the advance time, the wake-up stimulus is started with the said stimulus quantity having said initial value;
      5. e) wherein, in a time interval from the advance time until the intended time of waking up, the value of said stimulus quantity is gradually varied from said initial value to said end value;
      6. f) wherein, at the intended time of waking up, said stimulus quantity has said end value;
      wherein the wake-up device further comprises sleep quality monitor means for monitoring a quality of the sleep of a user and for generating a sleep quality monitor signal indicative of the quality of sleep of the user;
      and wherein the control device has an input to detect a go to sleep time of the user before the advance time, and wherein the control device is responsive to the sleep quality monitor signal received from the sleep quality monitor means to calculate an overall sleep quality parameter of the user on the basis of a plurality of measurements of the sleep quality monitor signal performed at a respective plurality of times between the go to sleep time and the advance time, and to amend the wake-up program as a function of the overall sleep quality parameter.


    [0012] Thus, the present invention tailors the waking-up process to a specific user, adapting properties of wake-up stimuli to current night's sleep quality and consequently providing the user with an even better wake-up experience.

    [0013] Further advantageous elaborations are mentioned in the dependent claims.

    [0014] It is advantageous if the wake-up device further comprises a memory associated with the control device, which memory contains information defining at least one program parameter of the wake-up program, and wherein the control device is responsive to the sleep quality monitor signal to amend the value of said program parameter as a function of the overall sleep quality parameter.

    [0015] A preferred program parameter to be amended as a function of the overall sleep quality parameter of the user is said initial value and/or said end value and/or said wake-up duration.

    [0016] In a particularly preferred embodiment, the memory contains a standard time value tΔ0 for the wake-up duration tΔ, and the control device is responsive to the sleep quality monitor signal to increase the wake-up duration tΔ to a value tΔ1 higher than the standard time value tΔ0 when the overall sleep quality parameter corresponds to a bad night's sleep of the user.

    [0017] In a particularly preferred embodiment, the memory contains a standard time value tΔ0 for the wake-up duration tΔ, and the control device is responsive to the sleep quality monitor signal to reduce the wake-up duration tΔ to a value tΔ2 lower than the standard time value tΔ0 when the overall sleep quality parameter corresponds to a good night's sleep of the user.

    [0018] In a particularly preferred embodiment, the memory contains a standard stimulus value for the end value of said variable stimulus quantity of the wake-up stimulus, and the control device is responsive to the sleep quality monitor signal to reduce said end value to a value lower than the standard stimulus value when the overall sleep quality parameter corresponds to a bad night's sleep of the user.

    [0019] In a particularly preferred embodiment, the memory contains a standard stimulus value for the end value of said variable stimulus quantity of the wake-up stimulus, and the control device is responsive to the sleep quality monitor signal to increase said end value to a value higher than the standard stimulus value when the overall sleep quality parameter corresponds to a good night's sleep of the user.

    [0020] In a particularly preferred embodiment, the wake-up stimulus is light. Light has proved to be a very suitable wake-up stimulus.

    [0021] In a particularly preferred embodiment, said variable stimulus quantity of the wake-up stimulus is a stimulus intensity. Slowly increasing the intensity of the wake-up stimulus will contribute to the desired effect of gently taking the user out of a deep sleep condition without causing a shock effect. When the wake-up stimulus is light, slowly increasing the light intensity will simulate a natural dawn effect and will thus contribute to a natural way of awakening.

    [0022] In a particularly preferred embodiment, the sleep quality monitor means include a movement sensor for detecting body movement of the user, and the sleep quality monitor means are configured for generating the sleep quality monitor signal, based on the amount of body movement of the user. It has been found that, on the one hand, body movement is a reliable indication of the level of sleep of a person, while, on the other hand, reliable body movement sensors are commercially available at relatively low cost.

    [0023] In a particularly preferred embodiment, the memory contains information defining a weighting function as a function of time or as a function of epoch during the night, the weighting function having higher weighting values in earlier stages of the night and lower weighting values in later stages of the night. When body movement measurement signals are weighted using such a weighting function, the experimental result is that a good and natural night's sleep includes periods of deep sleep during the first half of the night.

    [0024] In a particularly preferred embodiment, the control device is configured to calculate the overall sleep quality parameter as the running summation of weighted measurement samples (WS(ti) according to the formula

    wherein S(ti) indicates the sampled value of the sleep quality monitor signal (S) in an i-th epoch, and NSD(ti) indicates the corresponding weighting function. In such a case, it is advantageous if, at a predefined decision time tD, earlier than a standard advance time, the control device increases the wake-up duration tΔ if at that time the control device finds that a sleep quality decision parameter SQ(tD) calculated as:

    is higher than a reference value stored in the memory.

    [0025] Preferably, this reference value is a running average of overall sleep quality parameters or sleep quality decision parameters calculated during a predefined number of previous monitoring sessions. This has the advantage of better tailoring the definition of "good sleep" and "bad sleep" to the specific user.

    [0026] In a particularly preferred embodiment, the wake-up stimulus means comprises a wake-up lamp with a variable light intensity.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0027] These and other aspects, features and advantages of the present invention will be further explained by means of the following description of one or more preferred embodiments with reference to the drawings, in which same reference numerals indicate same or similar parts, and in which:

    figure 1 is a block diagram schematically illustrating a wake-up device according to the present invention;

    figure 2 is a graph schematically illustrating the operation of a wake-up device;

    figures 3A and 3B are graphs schematically illustrating amendment of the wake-up interval according to the present invention;

    figures 4A and 4B are graphs schematically illustrating amendment of the wake-up interval according to the present invention;

    figure 5 is a schematic sleep depth curve;

    figure 6 is a flow diagram schematically illustrating operation of the wake-up device according to the present invention.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION



    [0028] Figure 1 schematically shows a wake-up device 1 comprising a controllable wake-up stimulus means 4 for generating at least one wake-up stimulus for causing a user to wake up. The wake-up stimulus means 4 is capable of varying an intensity of the wake-up stimulus. In a specific embodiment, the wake-up device 1 is a wake-up light and the wake-up stimulus means 4 comprises a lamp, capable of generating a light output whose intensity can be controlled within an intensity range between a minimum intensity value equal to or close to zero and a nominal intensity, and the invention will hereinafter be specifically explained for this embodiment. Since such wake-up lights are known per se, a further discussion of the design and functioning of the wake-up stimulus means 4 is omitted here. However, it is noted that the word "lamp" here is used to indicate any type of light source, including LED, and including a plurality of light sources of the same or a mutually different type.

    [0029] The wake-up device 1 further comprises a control device 5 adapted to generate a control signal for controlling the wake-up stimulus means 4. Specifically, the control device 5 controls the light intensity of the lamp 4 as a function of time, as illustrated in the graph of figure 2, in which the horizontal axis represents actual time and the vertical axis represents the output light intensity I of the lamp 4. The control device 5 may for instance be implemented as a suitably programmed microprocessor, microcontroller, digital signal processor, or the like, and will hereinafter also simply be indicated as "controller".

    [0030] The wake-up device 1 comprises a wake-up timer means 3 for generating a wake-up time signal indicating the intended time of waking up. This intended time of waking up, also indicated as "alarm time", is indicated as tWU in figure 2. The wake-up timer means 3 is associated with a user interface to allow the user to set the alarm time, but this is not illustrated for sake of convenience.

    [0031] The wake-up device 1 comprises a clock means 2 for generating an actual time signal indicating actual time of day, indicated as t in figure 2. The clock means 2 is also associated with a user interface to allow the user to set the clock, but this is likewise not illustrated for sake of convenience.

    [0032] The controller 5 has an input coupled to an output of the clock means 2 to receive the actual time signal, and has an input coupled to an output of the wake-up timer means 3 to receive the wake-up time signal. It is noted that the controller 5, the wake-up timer means 3 and the clock means 2 may be integrated in a single component.

    [0033] The wake-up device 1 further comprises a memory 6 associated with the controller 5, which memory also may be integrated with the controller 5, and which contains information defining at least one wake-up program. This information may for instance be present in the memory in the form of a formula, and/or a table, and/or coefficients of a polynome. In an embodiment, the memory is associated with a user interface to allow the user to adapt the wake-up program(s), but this is not illustrated for sake of convenience.

    [0034] The wake-up device 1 further comprises an alarm device 7, controlled by the controller 5. The alarm device 7 is designed to generate an alarm signal intended to immediately wake up the user. In this respect, the alarm device 7 corresponds to the classic alarm clock, and indeed the alarm signal typically involves a sound signal. While it is possible that the intensity and type (beeper, music) of the alarm signal can be selected and set by the user, and while it can be said that the alarm signal itself is the ultimate wake-up stimulus, the terminology "wake-up stimulus" in the context of the present invention will be reserved to indicate the stimulus generated before the alarm time or intended wake-up time. After the alarm time or intended wake-up time, a signal will be indicated as alarm signal.

    [0035] The operation is as follows. During the night, the lamp 4 is normally off, indicated as intensity zero in the left-hand part of the graph. When the actual time t becomes equal to a certain advance time tA, the controller 5 switches on the lamp 4 at an initial intensity. While the exact value of this initial intensity is not essential to execute the present invention, this initial intensity will normally be low in practice, typically almost equal to zero, and may in fact be equal to zero. The precise timing of advance time tA is determined by the controller 5 on the basis of the information in memory 6: typically, for each wake-up program, this memory will contain information defining a standard value tΔ0 for the duration tΔ of the time interval from advance time tA to wake-up time tWU, and the controller 5 will calculate a standard value tA0 for the advance time tA according to the formula tA0 = tWU - tΔ0. In the following, this duration tΔ will also be indicated as "wake-up duration". A practical standard value for this wake-up duration may be about 30 minutes.

    [0036] In the time interval between the advance time tA and the wake-up time tWU, the controller 5 gradually increases the output light intensity I of the lamp 4, until a predefined end value IM0 is reached at the wake-up time tWU. This end value is a maximum in the wake-up interval. While the exact value of this maximum IM0 is not essential to execute the present invention, this maximum IM0 may be lower than the nominal light output of the lamp 4, or may be equal to the nominal light output of the lamp 4. By "nominal" light output is meant the light output in case the lamp is supplied with the nominal current or voltage corresponding to the rating of the lamp. It is also possible that this end value IM0 can be set by the user. It is alternatively or additionally possible that the memory 6 contains information defining this end value IM0 for each wake-up program.

    [0037] The rate of intensity increase may be constant, as illustrated by the straight line between tA and tWU in the graph of figure 2. However, it is also possible that the intensity increase is controlled in accordance with a predetermined formula, also stored in the memory 6, which may for instance be a logarithmic formula, taking the sensitivity characteristics of the human eye into account.

    [0038] This steady increase of light intensity has the purpose of gently causing the user to shift from deep sleep to light sleep, or to a "close to waking" stage. It may even be that the user actually wakes up before the set wake-up time tWU. In that case, the user may actuate a button (not shown) which deactivates the alarm signal.

    [0039] When the actual time t becomes equal to the wake-up time tWU, and the user has not indicated that he is already awake, the controller 5 will actuate the alarm device 7 to generate the alarm signal, but this is not illustrated in figure 2. The controller 5 may hold the output light intensity I of the lamp 4 constant, as illustrated. The controller 5 may eventually switch off the lamp automatically, or this may be left to the user.

    [0040] The operation as described above is the same as the operation of prior art devices, which do not take into account whether the user has had a good night's sleep or a bad night's sleep. The inventive device 1 additionally comprises sleep quality monitor means 10, generating a sleep quality monitor signal S that is received by the controller 5. Based on the received sleep quality monitor signal, the controller 5 calculates an overall sleep quality parameter indicating the overall quality of sleep during the night.

    [0041] Experiments have shown that, for a normal healthy individual, a normal sleep pattern involves more episodes of deeper sleep in the first half of the sleep period as compared to the second half, while at the end of the sleep period, i.e. during the normal wake-up period, there are few, if any, such episodes of deeper sleep. Experiments have also shown that, in the case of a bad night's sleep, there is an increased probability that the user will have episodes of deeper sleep in the second half of the sleep period, and even during the normal wake-up period, so that there is an increased probability that, at the intended wake-up time tWU, the user is in a deep sleep and suffers from sleep inertia when he finally wakes up.

    [0042] Based on these findings, the present invention provides that, if it is determined that the user has had a normal or good night's sleep, the original wake-up program may be used, but if it is determined that the user has had a bad night's sleep, the user is woken up more gently, over a longer wake-up interval. On the other hand, if it is determined that the user has had a good night's sleep, it is possible that the duration of the wake-up interval is reduced and the wake-up stimulation is intensified.

    [0043] Thus, according to the invention, the controller 5 is adapted to change the wake-up duration tΔ in response to the calculated overall sleep quality parameter: the more the overall sleep quality parameter indicates a bad night's sleep, the more the wake-up duration tΔ is increased by the controller 5.

    [0044] Figure 3A is a graph comparable to figure 2, illustrating the effect of the present invention for a case where the controller 5 finds that the user has had a bad night's sleep. The controller 5 changes the duration of the wake-up interval to a value tΔ1, which is larger than the standard value tΔ0, so that the advance time tA1 is earlier than the standard advance time tA0. The lamp 4 is started earlier. The end intensity at the wake-up time tWU is kept equal to the original maximum IM0. Thus, the intensity increase rate is lower.

    [0045] Figure 3B is a graph comparable to figure 2, illustrating the effect of the present invention for a case where the controller 5 finds that the user has had a good night's sleep. The controller 5 changes the duration of the wake-up interval to a value tΔ2, which is smaller than the standard value tΔ0, so that the advance time tA2 is later than the standard advance time tA0. The lamp 4 is started later in time. The end intensity at the wake-up time tWU is kept equal to the original maximum IM0. Thus, the intensity increase rate is higher.

    [0046] Figure 4A is a graph comparable to figure 3A, illustrating an embodiment where the controller 5, apart from increasing the duration of the wake-up interval, also decreases the end value of the intensity at the wake-up time tWU to a value IM1, which is lower than the original maximum IM0. This reduces the intensity increase rate even further.

    [0047] Figure 4B is a graph comparable to figure 3B, illustrating an embodiment where the controller 5, apart from reducing the duration of the wake-up interval, also increases the end value of the intensity at the wake-up time tWU to a value IM2, which is higher than the original maximum IM0. This increases the intensity increase rate even further.

    [0048] It is further possible that, for a case where the controller 5 finds that the user has had a good night's sleep, the controller 5 keeps the duration of the wake-up interval equal to the standard value tΔ0 and only decreases the end value of the intensity at the wake-up time tWU to a value IM1, which is lower than the original maximum IM0. Conversely, it is further possible that, for a case where the controller 5 finds that the user has had a bad night's sleep, the controller 5 keeps the duration of the wake-up interval equal to the standard value tΔ0 and only increases the end value of the intensity at the wake-up time tWU to a value IM2, which is higher than the original maximum IM0.

    [0049] The sleep quality monitor means 10 may include any device capable of generating a sleep quality monitor signal S indicative of the quality of the user's sleep during the night. According to the invention, a normal or even good night's sleep will involve a sufficient amount of deep sleep, especially during the first half of the night. Therefore, the sleep quality monitor means 10 comprise at least one sensor capable of sensing at least one quantity indicating the actual level of the user's sleep. This level will vary during the night, and the controller 5 calculates the overall sleep quality parameter, or simply "sleep quality", hereinafter indicated as SQ, as a single value on the basis of a plurality of measurements S(ti) performed at a respective plurality of times ti during the night.

    [0050] For monitoring the sleep quality, several quantities may be suitable. Sleep quality can be very accurately determined by measuring brain activity and/or respiratory activity and/or heart activity, but such would involve relatively complicated and/or inconvenient sensors, and furthermore such accuracy is not needed.

    [0051] In a suitable exemplary embodiment, movements of the user are taken as the quantity to be monitored. On average, persons will move hardly or not at all when they are in deep sleep, while persons tend to move more frequently and more intensely when they are in light sleep. For measuring the user's movements in real time, several types of sensor are suitable, involving mutually different aspects such as in respect of costs and accuracy. It is possible to design the system such that it monitors movements of the user's body as a whole, or such that it monitors individual movements of arms and/or legs. It is possible to employ a remote sensor, for instance an ultrasonic sensor or an infrared sensor, and it is even possible to process images from an infrared camera. It is also possible to employ one or more weight sensors arranged in the user's bed. It is also possible to employ one or more accelerometers to be attached by the user to his body, for instance in the form of a wrist band. Since such sensors are known per se, and the present invention can be implemented using existing movement sensors, and since the invention is not concerned with providing an improved movement sensor, the design and operation of a movement sensor will not be described in greater detail here.

    [0052] One possible way of calculating the overall sleep quality parameter SQ is to calculate the time-integral of samples S(ti) of the sensor signal S. However, a better approach is possible which is based on the following considerations.

    [0053] On average, for normally healthy persons, it has been found that deep sleep normally occurs in the first half of the night. Oversimplifying, one might consider that, for a normally healthy person having a normal night's rest, the depth of sleep has a maximum within a short period after the user falls asleep and gradually decreases during the night. Figure 5 is a schematic sleep depth curve, schematically illustrating normal sleep depth NSD as a function of time t. The horizontal axis represents time t, the vertical axis represents sleep depth NSD in arbitrary units. Time t1 indicates the time when the user intends to go to sleep. The wake-up device 1 is provided with an input or a sensor (not shown for sake of simplicity) for determining this time, hereinafter indicated as "Go To Sleep" time. Such input maybe a button to be pressed by the user, or a light sensor detecting that the user switches off the light in the bedroom. In an embodiment where the wake-up device 1 is used as a lamp before the user goes to sleep, the input may be a button for switching off this lamp.

    [0054] In figure 5, NSD(t) is shown as a curved line having a negative first derivative of which the absolute value decreases with time. Alternatively, one may take NSD(t) as a straight line, or another function having a non-positive first derivative. Further, instead of a continuous function, one may take NSD(t) as a stepped function.

    [0055] Further, on average, for normally healthy persons, it has been found that there is virtually zero motion during episodes of deep sleep. Oversimplifying, one might consider that, for a normally healthy person having a normal night's rest, the absence of movements indicates deep sleep, although in practice there will be of course time intervals where a person who is in a light sleep, or even awake, is nevertheless motionless.

    [0056] This means that, on average, for normally healthy persons, a normal night's rest will be associated with little or no movements during the initial stage and then an increasing amount of movement towards the end of the night. So, while expecting that a person will move more and more towards the intended wake-up time, it is also expected that such a person will show fewer movements during the initial stage of his sleep. If it is found that a person shows a relatively large amount of movements during the initial stage of his sleep, this may indicate a disturbed sleep in the beginning of the night with insufficient deep sleep, which would negatively affect sleep quality as a whole. In fact, a relatively large amount of movements during the initial stage of his sleep can be considered as a pointer predicting an increased risk of sleep inertia.

    [0057] In other words, and again oversimplifying, one might say that an ideal night's sleep is characterized by long and/or many periods of deep sleep during the entire night, with virtually no movements. So, the time integral of samples of movement signals should be low. This time integral can obviously not be as low as zero in practice, because this would indicate that the person is still in deep sleep at the intended wake-up time. An increasing value of this time integral can be taken to represent a deteriorating sleep quality, which is more severe as the movements concerned occur earlier in the night.

    [0058] Based on the above considerations, with reference to figure 6, the overall sleep quality parameter SQ is calculated as follows.

    [0059] In a first step 101, the controller 5 detects GoToSleep time t1.

    [0060] The controller 5 is aware of course of the intended wake-up time tWU. In a second step 102, the controller divides the time interval (night) between GoToSleep time t1 and intended wake-up time tWU in a large number N of time intervals indicated as "epochs" E. Individual epochs will be indicated by an index i running from 1 to N. Each epoch Ei has a duration Li. Suitably, the number N of epochs may be higher than 100, and may even be in the order of 1000. The number N of epochs may always be the same, in which case the durations Li depend on the GoToSleep time t1 and intended wake-up time tWU. Alternatively, the durations Li may always be the same, in which case the number N depends on the GoToSleep time t1 and intended wake-up time tWU. The respective epochs Ei may all have the same duration Li, but it is also possible that these durations are mutually different, for instance that they decrease with time. In a preferred embodiment, all epochs Ei have the same duration Li = 30 s.

    [0061] The controller 5 has a memory location for the value of the sleep quality SQ. In an initial stap 111, the controller 5 clears this value.

    [0062] During an epoch Ei, the controller 5 samples the movement signal S(t), which in a simple embodiment involves counting the number of movements during the epoch Ei (step 121). Further, the controller 5 determines NSD(ti) for this epoch Ei (step 122). To this end, the memory 6 may store a function or a table, or other suitable information, defining NSD(ti) as a function of time or as a function of i. The value NSD(ti) is used as a weighting factor for the measurement sample S(ti) to calculate a weighted measurement sample WS(ti) as WS(ti) = (S(ti) · NSD(ti))/N (step 123). Of course, one may omit the division by N here, and/or one may use a different scaling factor. The weighted measurement sample WS(ti) is added to the sleep quality SQ (step 124).

    [0063] These steps are repeated for all epochs Ei (step 140).

    [0064] Thus, at the end of the night, i.e. at the intended wake-up time tWU, the sleep quality SQ as calculated satisfies the following formula:



    [0065] At a certain predefined decision time tD, earlier than the normal advance time tA, the controller 5 needs to make a decision as to whether or not the wake-up program is to be adapted. If the adaptation only involves one or more parameters of the variable quantities, the decision time tD may be equal to the normal advance time tA. However, in the preferred embodiment, the adaptation also involves advancing or delaying the advance time tA, so that in such a case the decision time tD should be earlier than the standard advance time tA0, as illustrated in figure 5. The decision time tD should at the latest coincide with the earliest possible value for the shifted advance time tA1. A suitable decision time tD is for instance 1h before the intended wake-up time tWU.

    [0066] At the end of each epoch Ei, after adding the weighted measurement sample WS(ti) to the sleep quality SQ (step 124), the controller 5 determines (step 130) whether the decision time tD has been reached. If that is the case, the controller 5 examines the sleep quality SQ calculated so far. It is noted that at that moment the value of a sleep quality decision parameter SQ(tD) can be expressed in accordance with the following formula:



    [0067] To make a decision, the controller 5 has a reference value SQref stored in a memory location, for instance part of the memory 6. In a step 131, the controller 5 compares the value of the sleep quality decision parameter SQ(tD) calculated at the decision time tD with the reference value SQref. It is noted that a high value indicates low quality. If the sleep-quality decision parameter SQ(tD) is considered to be too high, the commencement of the wake-up sequence is advanced, as described earlier. The amount of shifting of the advance time may depend on the absolute or relative difference between SQ(tD) and SQref.

    [0068] In step 132, the controller amends the duration of the wake-up interval tΔ and possibly the stimulus intensity IM. Several variations are possible.

    [0069] For instance, it is possible to calculate an amended value tΔ1 for the wake-up duration by multiplying the standard value tΔ0 by the factor SQ(tD)/SQref. As a result, the higher the value of SQ(tD), the longer the duration tΔ of the wake-up interval will be.

    [0070] Or, it is for instance possible to start with the wake-up sequence immediately.

    [0071] It is possible that the controller 5 makes the decision only once. However, if the controller 5 decides not to advance the start of the wake-up sequence, or to advance the start of the wake-up sequence by a small amount of time only, so that, at the moment of making the decision, the shifted advance time tA1 is still in the future, it is also possible that processing continues at step 121. The controller may define a new value for the decision time tD, and when the new decision time tD is reached, steps 130-132 are again performed, and it is possible that the controller now calculates a different value for the shifted advance time tA1. However, this is normally not needed, since the calculated value SQ(tD) will in practice not change much after the decision time tD.

    [0072] If, by the time that the new decision time tD coincides with or is close to the intended wake-up time tWU, the sleep-quality decision parameter SQ(tD) is considered to be relatively low, the commencement of the wake-up sequence is delayed, as described earlier.

    [0073] The reference value SQref for the sleep quality decision parameter may be a fixed, predetermined value, and in fact, this may be the case in the out-of-the-box situation. However, different persons may have different values for "normal". Therefore, the controller 5 preferably has a learning capability in that the reference value SQref is adapted to the personal circumstances of the user. To do this, the controller may store the most recent values obtained for SQ(tD) or SQ, for instance the last 10 or 20 values. Each time the user starts the apparatus for a new night's sleep, SQref is calculated as an average of the overall sleep quality parameters SQ or sleep quality decision parameters SQ(tD) calculated during a predefined number of previous monitoring sessions stored. At the end of the night, the newly calculated value for SQ(tD) or SQ, respectively, is added to the memory, while the oldest one is discarded. Thus, the reference value SQref is a running average of historically obtained results.

    [0074] The device may be provided with a user input button, allowing the user to indicate whether he considers the recent night to be an abnormally bad night: in such a case, the newly calculated value for SQ(tD) or SQ is discarded. Also, the controller may examine automatically whether the newly calculated value for SQ(tD) or SQ deviates to an abnormally large degree from the current average, and may in such a case decide to automatically discard the newly calculated value for SQ(tD) or SQ.

    [0075] Summarizing, the present invention provides a wake-up device 1 comprising clock means 2, wake-up timer means 3, controllable wake-up stimulus means 4, and a control device 5 for controlling the wake-up stimulus means 4.
    The wake-up stimulus means is capable of varying an intensity of the wake-up stimulus. The wake-up stimulus is started at a relatively low intensity at a predetermined advance time tA before the intended time of wakinguptWU, in such a manner that the intensity of the wake-up stimulus is gradually increased in accordance with a predefined wake-up program. The wake-up device further comprises sleep quality monitor means 10 for monitoring the quality of the sleep of a user, and for generating a sleep quality monitor signal S indicative of the quality of the sleep of the user.
    The control device is responsive to the sleep quality monitor signal S received from the sleep quality monitor means to amend the wake-up program.
    The invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments; rather, several variations and modifications are possible within the protective scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.

    [0076] For instance, in the discussed embodiment, the wake-up stimulus is light. This indeed is a preferred stimulus, but other types of stimulus are also possible. In fact, any type of stimulus that the user can sense can be used in the present invention. Such a stimulus may involve for instance sound (to be heard), odor (to be smelled), vibrations (to be felt). Combinations of different types of stimulus are also possible.

    [0077] In a typical embodiment, the alarm signal will be a sound signal. It is possible that the wake-up stimulus also is a sound signal, slowly increasing in amplitude. In such an embodiment, it may be that the stimulus device 4 and the alarm device 7 are implemented by one and the same sound-generating device.

    [0078] Further, in the discussed embodiment, apart from the "duration of wake-up interval" (and thus "starting time"), only the variable quantity "intensity" has been discussed as a quantity whose value is varied during the wake-up interval. The stimulus applied may have more such quantities. For instance, in the case of light, the color may be a quantity to be varied from an initial value to an end value, i.e. the value at the wake-up time tWU. In this case, the initial color and/or the end color may be adapted in response to the sleep quality. In the case of a sound stimulus, the frequency may be a quantity to be varied from an initial value to an end value. In any case, whatever the quantity, the initial value will be a value having a relatively low wake-up stimulating effect and the end value will be a value having a relatively high wake-up stimulating effect. According to the invention, the starting time of the wake-up period may be adapted, and/or the initial value of a stimulus parameter may be adapted, and/or the end value of a stimulus parameter may be adapted.

    [0079] In the above, the present invention has been explained with reference to block diagrams, which illustrate functional blocks of the device according to the present invention. It is to be understood that one or more of these functional blocks may be implemented in hardware, where the function of such a functional block is performed by individual hardware components, but it is also possible that one or more of these functional blocks are implemented in software, so that the function of such a functional block is performed by one or more program lines of a computer program or a programmable device such as a microprocessor, microcontroller, digital signal processor, etc.


    Claims

    1. Wake-up device (1) comprising:

    - clock means (2) for generating an actual time signal corresponding to an actual time of day (t);

    - wake-up timer means (3) for generating a wake-up time signal corresponding to an intended time of waking up (tWU);

    - controllable wake-up stimulus means (4) for generating at least one wake-up stimulus for causing a user to wake up, the wake-up stimulus having at least one variable stimulus quantity, wherein a wake-up effectiveness of the wake-up stimulus depends on a value of the stimulus quantity;

    - a control device (5) having inputs coupled to receive the actual time signal and the wake-up time signal and adapted to generate a control signal for controlling the wake-up stimulus means (4);
    wherein the wake-up stimulus means (4) is responsive to said control signal to vary the value of said stimulus quantity;
    and wherein the control device (5) is adapted to generate the control signal such that the wake-up stimulus is generated in accordance with a predefined wake-up program, the wake-up program including:

    a) an initial value for the stimulus quantity of the wake-up stimulus, the initial value having a relatively low wake-up effectiveness;

    b) an end value (IM) for the stimulus quantity of the wake-up stimulus, the end value having a relatively high wake-up effectiveness;

    c) a wake-up duration (tΔ), defining an advance time (tA) before the intended time of waking-up (tWU) according to the formula tA = tWU - tΔ;

    d) wherein, at the advance time (tA), the wake-up stimulus is started with the said stimulus quantity having said initial value;

    e) wherein, in a time interval from the advance time (tA) until the intended time of waking-up (tWU), the value of said stimulus quantity is gradually varied from said initial value to said end value;

    f) wherein, at the intended time of waking-up (twu), said stimulus quantity has said end value;

    wherein the wake-up device (1) further comprises sleep quality monitor means (10) for monitoring a quality of the sleep of a user and for generating a sleep quality monitor signal (S) indicative of the momentary quality of sleep of the user; wherein the control device (5) has an input to detect a go to sleep time (ti) of the user before the advance time (tA), and in that the control device (5) is responsive to the sleep quality monitor signal (S) received from the sleep quality monitor means (10) to calculate an overall sleep quality parameter (SQ) of the user on the basis of a plurality of measurements (S(ti)) of the sleep quality monitor signal (S) performed at a respective plurality of times (ti) between the go to sleep time (t1) and the advance time (tA), and characterized in that the controller device (5) is responsive to amend the wake-up program as a function of the overall sleep quality parameter (SQ).


     
    2. Wake-up device according to claim 1, further comprising a memory (6) associated with the control device (5), which memory contains information defining at least one program parameter of the wake-up program, and wherein the control device (5) is responsive to the sleep quality monitor signal (S) to amend the value of the program parameter as a function of the overall sleep quality parameter (SQ).
     
    3. Wake-up device according to claim 2, wherein the program parameter to be amended as a function of the overall sleep quality parameter (SQ) is said initial value and/or said end value and/or said wake-up duration.
     
    4. Wake-up device according to claim 2, wherein the memory (6) contains a standard time value (tΔ0) for the wake-up duration (tΔ), and wherein the control device (5) is responsive to the sleep quality monitor signal (S) to increase the wake-up duration (tΔ) to a value (tΔ1) higher than the standard time value (tΔ0) when the overall sleep quality parameter (SQ) corresponds to a bad night's sleep of the user.
     
    5. Wake-up device according to claim 2, wherein the memory (6) contains a standard time value (tΔ0) for the wake-up duration (tΔ), and wherein the control device (5) is responsive to the sleep quality monitor signal (S) to reduce the wake-up duration (tΔ) to a value (tΔ2) lower than the standard time value (tΔ0) when the overall sleep quality parameter (SQ) corresponds to a good night's sleep of the user.
     
    6. Wake-up device according to claim 2, wherein the memory (6) contains a standard stimulus value (IM0) for the end value of said variable stimulus quantity of the wake-up stimulus, and wherein the control device (5) is responsive to the sleep quality monitor signal (S) to reduce said end value to a value (IM1) lower than the standard stimulus value (IM0) when the overall sleep quality parameter (SQ) corresponds to a bad night's sleep of the user.
     
    7. Wake-up device according to claim 2, wherein the memory (6) contains a standard stimulus value (IM0) for the end value of said variable stimulus quantity of the wake-up stimulus, and wherein the control device (5) is responsive to the sleep quality monitor signal (S) to increase said end value to a value (IM2) higher than the standard stimulus value (IM0) when the overall sleep quality parameter (SQ) corresponds to a good night's sleep of the user.
     
    8. Wake-up device according to claim 1, wherein the wake-up stimulus is light.
     
    9. Wake-up device according to claim 1, wherein said variable stimulus quantity of the wake-up stimulus is a stimulus intensity.
     
    10. Wake-up device according to claim 1, wherein the sleep quality monitor means (10) include a movement sensor for detecting body movement of the user, and wherein the sleep quality monitor means (10) are configured for generating the sleep quality monitor signal (S), based on the amount of body movement of the user.
     
    11. Wake-up device according to claim 2, wherein the memory (6) contains information defining a weighting function (NSD(t)) as a function of time or as a function of epoch (Ei) during the night, the weighting function (NSD(t)) having higher weighting values in earlier stages of the night and lower weighting values in later stages of the night.
     
    12. Wake-up device according to claim 2, wherein the sleep quality monitor means (10) include a movement sensor for detecting body movement of the user, and
    wherein the sleep quality monitor means (10) are configured for generating the sleep quality monitor signal (S), based on the amount of body movement of the user;
    wherein the control device (5) is configured to divide a sleep time interval between an intended moment of going to sleep and an intended moment of waking up into a plurality (N) of epochs (Ei);
    wherein the memory (6) contains information defining a weighting function (NSD(ti)) as a function of said epochs (Ei), the weighting function (NSD(ti)) having higher weighting values in earlier stages of the sleep time interval and lower weighting values in later stages of the sleep time interval;
    wherein the control device (5) is configured for each epoch (Ei) to calculate a weighted measurement sample (WS(ti)) according to the formula WS(ti) = (S(ti) · NSD(ti))/N, wherein S(ti) indicates the sampled value of the sleep quality monitor signal (S) in the epoch (Ei); and wherein the control device (5) is configured to calculate the overall sleep quality parameter (SQ) as the running summation of the weighted measurement samples (WS(ti)) according to the formula


     
    13. Wake-up device according to claim 12, wherein, at a predefined decision time (tD), earlier than a standard advance time (tA0), the control device (5) increases the wake-up duration (tΔ) if at that time the control device (5) finds that a sleep quality decision parameter (SQ(tD)) calculated as:

    is higher than a reference value (SQref) stored in the memory (6).
     
    14. Wake-up device according to claim 13, wherein the reference value (SQref) is a running average of overall sleep quality parameters or sleep quality decision parameters calculated during a predefined number of previous monitoring sessions.
     
    15. Wake-up device according to claim 1, wherein the wake-up stimulus means (4) comprises a wake-up lamp with a variable light intensity.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Wecker (1), der Folgendes umfasst:

    - Uhr (2) zum Generieren des jeweiligen Uhrsignals, das der entsprechenden Tageszeit (t) entspricht;

    - Weckzeitschaltuhr (3) zum Generieren des jeweiligen Weckzeitsignals, das der gewünschten Weckzeit (twu) entspricht;

    - steuerbare Weckimpuls-Vorrichtung (4) zum Generieren mindestens eines Weckimpulses, der den Benutzer weckt, wobei der Weckimpuls über mindestens eine variable Impulsmenge verfügt, und wobei die Weckwirkung des Weckimpulses auf dem Wert der Impulsmenge beruht;

    - eine Steuerung (5) mit Eingängen, über die das jeweilige Zeitsignal und das Wecksignal empfangen werden, und die ein Steuerungssignal zum Steuern der Weckimpuls-Vorrichtung (4) generiert;
    wobei die Weckimpuls-Vorrichtung (4) den Wert der Impulsmenge anhand des Steuerungssignals ändert;
    und wobei die Steuerung (5) das Steuerungssignal so generiert, dass der Weckimpuls anhand eines vordefinierten Weckprogramms generiert wird, das Folgendes umfasst:

    a) einen Ausgangswert für die Impulsmenge des Weckimpulses, wobei der Ausgangswert über eine relativ geringe Weckwirkung verfügt;

    b) einen Endwert (IM) für die Impulsmenge des Weckimpulses, wobei der Endwert über eine relativ hohe Weckwirkung verfügt;

    c) eine Weckdauer (tΔ), die anhand der Formel tA = twu - tΔ eine Vorlaufzeit (tA) vor der gewünschten Weckzeit (twu) definiert;

    d) wobei zur Vorlaufzeit (tA) der Weckimpuls mit dem Ausgangswert der Impulsmenge begonnen wird;

    e) wobei sich im Zeitraum zwischen der Vorlaufzeit (tA) und der gewünschten Weckzeit (twu) der Wert der Impulsmenge allmählich vom Ausgangswert zum Endwert ändert;

    f) wobei die Impulsmenge zur gewünschten Weckzeit (twu) über den Endwert verfügt;

    wobei der Wecker (l) zudem über eine Schlafqualitätsüberwachung (10) zum Überwachen der Schlafqualität des Benutzers sowie zum Generieren eines Schlafqualitätsüberwachungssignals (S) verfügt, das die momentane Schlafqualität des Benutzers angibt;
    wobei die Steuerung (5) über einen Eingang zum Erkennen der Einschlafzeit (ti) vor der Vorlaufzeit (tA) verfügt, und wobei die Steuerung (5) auf das von der Schlafqualitätsüberwachung (10) abgerufene Schlafqualitätsüberwachungssignal (S) reagiert, um einen Gesamtschlafqualitätsparameter (SQ) für den Benutzer zu berechnen. Dieser beruht auf mehreren Messungen (S(ti)) des Schlafqualitätsüberwachungssignals (S), die zu mehreren entsprechenden Zeitpunkten (ti) zwischen der Einschlafzeit (ti) und der Vorlaufzeit (tA) erfasst wurden, und wobei sich die Steuerung (5) dadurch auszeichnet, dass das Weckprogramm anhand einer Funktion des Gesamtschlafqualitätsparameters (SQ) anpasst.


     
    2. Der Wecker gemäß Anspruch 1, der zudem einen in die Steuerung (5) integrierten Speicher (6) umfasst, der Daten umfasst, mit denen mindestens ein Programmparameter des Weckprogramms definiert wird, wobei die Steuerung (5) den Wert des Programmparameters anhand des Schlafqualitätsüberwachungssignals (S) als Funktion des Gesamtschlafqualitätsparameters (SQ) ändert.
     
    3. Der Wecker gemäß Anspruch 2, wobei es sich bei dem als Funktion des Gesamtschlafqualitätsparameters (SQ) zu ändernden Programmparameter um den Ausgangswert und/oder den Endwert und/oder die Weckdauer handelt.
     
    4. Der Wecker gemäß Anspruch 2, wobei der Speicher (6) einen Standardzeitwert (tΔ0) für die Weckdauer (tΔ) umfasst, und wobei die Steuerung (5) anhand des Schlafqualitätsüberwachungssignals (S) die Weckdauer (tΔ) auf einen Wert (tΔ1) erhöht, der höher ist als der Standardzeitwert (tΔ0), wenn der Gesamtschlafqualitätsparameter (SQ) einem schlechten Schlaf des Benutzers entspricht.
     
    5. Der Wecker gemäß Anspruch 2, wobei der Speicher (6) einen Standardzeitwert (tΔ0) für die Weckdauer (tΔ) umfasst, und wobei die Steuerung (5) anhand des Schlafqualitätsüberwachungssignals (S) die Weckdauer (tΔ) auf einen Wert (tΔ2) verringert, der niedriger ist als der Standardzeitwert (tΔ0), wenn der Gesamtschlafqualitätsparameter (SQ) einem guten Schlaf des Benutzers entspricht.
     
    6. Der Wecker gemäß Anspruch 2, wobei der Speicher (6) einen Standardimpulswert (IM0) für den Endwert der variablen Impulsmenge für den Weckimpuls umfasst, und wobei die Steuerung (5) anhand des Schlafqualitätsüberwachungssignals (S) den Endwert auf einen Wert (IM1) verringert, der geringer ist als der Standardimpulswert (IM0), wenn der Gesamtschlafqualitätsparameter (SQ) einem schlechten Schlaf des Benutzers entspricht.
     
    7. Der Wecker gemäß Anspruch 2, wobei der Speicher (6) einen Standardimpulswert (IM0) für den Endwert der variablen Impulsmenge für den Weckimpuls umfasst, und wobei die Steuerung (5) anhand des Schlafqualitätsüberwachungssignals (S) den Endwert auf einen Wert (IM2) erhöht, der höher ist als der Standardimpulswert (IM0), wenn der Gesamtschlafqualitätsparameter (SQ) einem guten Schlaf des Benutzers entspricht.
     
    8. Der Wecker gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei es sich beim Weckimpuls um Licht handelt.
     
    9. Der Wecker gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei es sich bei der variablen Impulsmenge des Weckimpulses um eine Impulsintensität handelt.
     
    10. Der Wecker gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei die Schlafqualitätsüberwachung (10) einen Bewegungssensor zum Erkennen der Körperbewegung des Benutzers umfasst, und wobei die Schlafqualitätsüberwachung (10) das Schlafqualitätsüberwachungssignal (S) beruhend auf der Menge der Körperbewegungen des Benutzers generiert.
     
    11. Der Wecker gemäß Anspruch 2, wobei der Speicher (6) Daten umfasst, mit der eine Gewichtungsfunktion (NSD(t)) als Zeit- oder Zeitraumfunktion des Zeitraums (Ei) in der Nacht definiert wird, und wobei die Gewichtungsfunktion (NSD(t)) zu Beginn der Nacht über höhere und später in der Nacht über niedrigere Gewichtungswerte verfügt.
     
    12. Der Wecker gemäß Anspruch 2, wobei die Schlafqualitätsüberwachung (10) einen Bewegungssensor zum Erkennen der Körperbewegung des Benutzers umfasst, und wobei die Schlafqualitätsüberwachung (10) das Schlafqualitätsüberwachungssignal (S) beruhend auf der Menge der Körperbewegungen des Benutzers generiert; wobei die Steuerung (5) das Schlafzeitintervall zwischen der gewünschten Einschlafzeit und der gewünschten Weckzeit in mehrere (N) Zeiträume (Ei) aufteilt; wobei der Speicher (6) Daten umfasst, mit der eine Gewichtungsfunktion (NSD(ti)) als Zeitraumfunktion der Zeiträume (Ei) definiert wird, und wobei die Gewichtungsfunktion (NSD(ti)) zu Beginn des Schlafzeitraums über höhere und später im Schlafzeitraum über niedrigere Gewichtungswerte verfügt;
    wobei die Steuerung (5) für jeden Zeitraum (Ei) eine gewichtete Messprobe (WS(ti)) anhand der Formel WS(ti) = (S(ti) • (NSD(ti))/N berechnet, wobei (S(ti) den Stichprobenwert des Schlafqualitätsüberwachungssignals (S) im Zeitraum (Ei) angibt, und wobei die Steuerung (5) den Gesamtschlafqualitätsparameter (SQ) als laufende Aufsummierung der gewichteten Messproben (WS(ti)) berechnet.
    Dies erfolgt anhand der Formel:


     
    13. Der Wecker gemäß Anspruch 12, wobei die Steuerung (5) zu einem vor der Standardvorlaufzeit (tA0) liegenden vordefinierten Entscheidungszeitpunkt (tD) die Weckdauer (tΔ) verlängert, wenn die Steuerung (5) zu diesem Zeitpunkt feststellt, dass der Schlafqualitätsentscheidungsparameter (SQ(tD))

    größer als ein im Speicher (6) gespeicherter Referenzwert (SQref) ist.
     
    14. Der Wecker gemäß Anspruch 13, wobei es sich beim Referenzwert (SQref) um den laufenden Durchschnitt des Gesamtschlafqualitätsparameters oder des Schlafqualitätsentscheidungsparameters handelt, der im Laufe einer vordefinierten Menge vorheriger Überwachungssitzungen berechnet wurde.
     
    15. Der Wecker gemäß Anspruch 1, wobei die Weckimpuls-Vorrichtung (4) über eine Wecklampe mit variabler Lichtintensität verfügt.
     


    Revendications

    1. Dispositif de réveil (1) comprenant :

    - un moyen d'horloge (2) pour générer un signal de temps réel correspondant à un temps réel de la journée (t) ;

    - un moyen de temporisation de réveil (3) pour générer un signal de temps de réveil correspondant à un temps de réveil prévu (twu) ;

    - un moyen de stimulus de réveil (4) commandable pour générer au moins un stimulus de réveil pour amener un utilisateur à se réveiller, ledit stimulus de réveil présentant au moins une quantité de stimulus variable, dans lequel une efficacité de réveil du stimulus de réveil dépend d'une valeur de la quantité de stimulus ;

    - un dispositif de commande (5) comportant des entrées couplées pour recevoir le signal de temps réel et le signal de temps de réveil et conçu pour générer un signal de commande pour commander le moyen de stimulation de réveil (4) ;
    dans lequel le moyen de stimulation de réveil (4) est sensible audit signal de commande pour faire varier la valeur de ladite quantité de stimulation ;
    et dans lequel le dispositif de commande (5) est conçu pour générer le signal de commande de telle sorte que le stimulus de réveil est généré selon un programme de réveil prédéfini, ledit programme de réveil comprenant :

    a) une valeur initiale pour la quantité de stimulus du stimulus de réveil, ladite valeur initiale présentant une efficacité de réveil relativement faible ;

    b) une valeur finale (IM) pour la quantité de stimulus du stimulus de réveil, ladite valeur finale présentant une efficacité de réveil relativement élevée ;

    c) une durée de réveil (tΔ), définissant un temps d'avance (tA) avant le temps de réveil prévu (twu) selon la formule tA = tWU - tΔ,

    d) dans lequel, au temps d'avance (tA), le stimulus de réveil est démarré avec ladite quantité de stimulus présentant ladite valeur initiale ;

    e) dans lequel, dans un intervalle de temps entre le temps d'avance (tA) et le temps du réveil prévu (tWU), la valeur de ladite quantité de stimulus varie progressivement de ladite valeur initiale à ladite valeur finale ;

    f) dans lequel, au temps du réveil prévu (tWU), ladite quantité de stimulus présente ladite valeur finale ;

    dans lequel le dispositif de réveil (1) comprend en outre des moyens de surveillance de la qualité du sommeil (10) pour surveiller une qualité du sommeil d'un utilisateur et pour générer un signal de surveillance de la qualité du sommeil (S) indicatif de la qualité momentanée du sommeil de l'utilisateur ; dans lequel le dispositif de commande (5) comporte une entrée pour détecter un temps de s'endormir (ti) de l'utilisateur avant le temps d'avance (tA), et le dispositif de commande (5) est sensible au signal de surveillance de la qualité du sommeil (S) reçu des moyens de surveillance de la qualité du sommeil (10) pour calculer un paramètre de qualité du sommeil (SQ) global de l'utilisateur en fonction d'une pluralité de mesures (S(ti)) du signal de surveillance de la qualité du sommeil (S) effectuées à une pluralité de fois (ti) respectives entre le temps de s'endormir (t1) et le temps d'avance (tA), et caractérisé en ce que le dispositif de commande (5) est sensible à la modification du programme de réveil en fonction du paramètre de qualité du sommeil (SQ) global.


     
    2. Dispositif de réveil selon la revendication 1, comprenant en outre une mémoire (6) associée au dispositif de commande (5), ladite mémoire contenant des informations définissant au moins un paramètre de programme du programme de réveil, et dans lequel le dispositif de commande (5) est sensible au signal de commande de la qualité du sommeil (S) pour modifier la valeur du paramètre de programme en fonction du paramètre de qualité du sommeil (SQ) global.
     
    3. Dispositif de réveil selon la revendication 2, dans lequel le paramètre de programme à modifier en fonction du paramètre de qualité du sommeil (SQ) global est ladite valeur initiale et/ou ladite valeur finale et/ou ladite durée de réveil.
     
    4. Dispositif de réveil selon la revendication 2, dans lequel la mémoire (6) contient une valeur de temps standard (tΔ0) pour une durée de réveil (tΔ), et dans lequel le dispositif de commande (5) réagit au signal de surveillance de la qualité du sommeil (S) pour augmenter la durée de réveil (tΔ) à une valeur (tΔ1) supérieure à la valeur de temps standard (tΔ0) lorsque le paramètre de qualité du sommeil (SQ) global correspond à une mauvaise nuit de sommeil de l'utilisateur.
     
    5. Dispositif de réveil selon la revendication 2, dans lequel la mémoire (6) contient une valeur de temps standard (tΔ0) pour la durée de réveil (tΔ), et dans lequel le dispositif de commande (5) réagit au signal de surveillance de la qualité du sommeil (S) pour réduire la durée de réveil (tΔ) à une valeur (tΔ2) inférieure à la valeur de temps standard (tΔ0) lorsque le paramètre de qualité du sommeil (SQ) global correspond à une bonne nuit de sommeil de l'utilisateur.
     
    6. Dispositif de réveil selon la revendication 2, dans lequel la mémoire (6) contient une valeur de stimulus standard (IM0) pour la valeur finale de ladite quantité de stimulus variable du stimulus de réveil, et dans lequel le dispositif de commande (5) réagit au signal de surveillance de la qualité du sommeil (S) pour réduire ladite valeur finale à une valeur (IM1) inférieure à la valeur de stimulus standard (IM0) lorsque le paramètre de qualité du sommeil (SQ) global correspond à une mauvaise nuit de sommeil de l'utilisateur.
     
    7. Dispositif de réveil selon la revendication 2, dans lequel la mémoire (6) contient une valeur de stimulus standard (IM0) pour la valeur finale de ladite quantité de stimulus variable du stimulus de réveil, et dans lequel le dispositif de commande (5) réagit au signal de surveillance de la qualité du sommeil (S) pour augmenter ladite valeur finale à une valeur (IM2) supérieure à la valeur de stimulus standard (IM0) lorsque le paramètre de qualité du sommeil (SQ) global correspond à une bonne nuit de sommeil de l'utilisateur.
     
    8. Dispositif de réveil selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le stimulus de réveil est une lumière.
     
    9. Dispositif de réveil selon la revendication 1, dans lequel ladite quantité de stimulus variable du stimulus de réveil est une intensité de stimulus.
     
    10. Dispositif de réveil selon la revendication 1, dans lequel les moyens de surveillance de la qualité du sommeil (10) comprend un capteur de mouvement pour détecter un mouvement corporel de l'utilisateur, et dans lequel les moyen de surveillance de la qualité du sommeil (10) sont configurés pour générer le signal de surveillance de la qualité du sommeil (S) en fonction de la quantité de mouvement corporel de l'utilisateur.
     
    11. Dispositif de réveil selon la revendication 2, dans lequel la mémoire (6) contient des informations définissant une fonction de pondération (NSD(t)) en fonction du temps ou en fonction de l'époque (Ei) pendant la nuit, ladite fonction de pondération (NSD(t)) présentant des valeurs de pondération supérieures à des phases du sommeil antérieures pendant de la nuit et des valeurs de pondération inférieures à des phases du sommeil ultérieurs pendant de la nuit.
     
    12. Dispositif de réveil selon la revendication 2, dans lequel les moyens de surveillance de la qualité du sommeil (10) comprennent un capteur de mouvement pour détecter le mouvement corporel de l'utilisateur, et dans lequel les moyens de surveillance de la qualité du sommeil (10) sont configurés pour générer le signal de surveillance de la qualité du sommeil (S), en fonction de la quantité de mouvement corporel de l'utilisateur ;
    dans lequel le dispositif de commande (5) est configuré pour diviser un intervalle de temps de sommeil entre un temps prévu pour s'endormir et un temps prévu pour se réveiller en une pluralité (N) d'époques (Ei) ;
    dans lequel la mémoire (6) contient des informations définissant une fonction de pondération (NSD(ti)) en fonction desdites époques (Ei), la fonction de pondération (NSD(ti)) présentant des valeurs de pondération supérieures aux phases du sommeil antérieurs de l'intervalle de temps de sommeil et des valeurs de pondération inférieures aux phases du sommeil ultérieurs de l'intervalle de temps de sommeil ;
    dans lequel le dispositif de commande (5) est configuré, pour chaque époque (Ei), pour calculer un échantillon de mesure pondéré (WS(ti)) selon la formule WS(ti) = (S(ti) x NSD(ti))/N, dans lequel S(ti) indique la valeur échantillonnée du signal de surveillance de la qualité du sommeil (S) à l'époque (Ei) ;
    et dans lequel le dispositif de commande (5) est configuré pour calculer le paramètre de qualité du sommeil (SQ) global en tant que somme cumulée des échantillons de mesure pondérés (WS(ti)) selon la formule


     
    13. Dispositif de réveil selon la revendication 12, dans lequel, à un temps de décision (tD) prédéfini, antérieur à un temps d'avance standard (tA0), le dispositif de commande (5) augmente la durée de réveil (tΔ) lorsque audit temps ledit dispositif de commande (5) constate qu'un paramètre de décision de la qualité du sommeil (SQ(tD)), calculé comme suit :

    est supérieure à une valeur de référence (SQref) mémorisée dans la mémoire (6).
     
    14. Dispositif de réveil selon la revendication 13, dans lequel la valeur de référence (SQref) est une moyenne mobile des paramètres de qualité du sommeil globaux ou des paramètres de décision de qualité du sommeil globaux calculés pendant un nombre prédéfini de sessions de surveillance précédentes.
     
    15. Dispositif de réveil selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le moyen de stimulation de réveil (4) comprend une lampe de réveil présentant une intensité lumineuse variable.
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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    Patent documents cited in the description