This DIY sensor not intended to be used as a medical device. If you are seeking information on how to treat a sleep disorder, you should talk to your healthcare provider. The content, learning methods, experimenting information and product you build from information on this page will not construct a medical device. No claims have been made for this content to behave as a medically related disease prevention, habit correction, cure or therapy tool. The hacker/ builder (that’s you) assumes all liability.
Below is how I personally hacked a sensor and solved a nighttime clenching habit caused 1st by chewing on soft Invisalign braces for 2 years. This clenching habit caused daily jaw pain, tension headaches, and tinnitus. These all surface 1 month after 14 months of wearing Invisalign.
For these DIY devices above, I have chosen to measure both the activity of my jaw muscles and pressure inside my mouth with switches to see if I am clenching. I could have chosen to simply measure the clamping force in a mouth guard but this did not seem a good idea to me because having a battery in my mouth, while clenching down. So there are wires sticking out from my mouth in one option, but IT’s worth it and more comfortable then you think.
Mission Goal Response
My main idea of this project is to measure (response-clenches) if I am clenching and alert me with a generated vibration or sound. The feedback will then should trigger a Pavlov reaction, so you (chill out) and relax the jaw muscles. If you don’t relax I will eventually wake up. The longer you use it the better the Pavlov reaction should work. I want to measure if any improvement arises, so the data is saved on a SD card for later analysis and data discovery investigation. To see any difference, of course, a baseline measurement has to be performed, which is simply not using the feedback of the sound and only saving the measured data.
Make sure you’re using a FitBit to monitor sleep data.
DIY steps/ directions
(Google, the Arduino Forum, and the Adafruit Forum are your friends)
- First purchase and assemble a Feather 32U4 Arduino Bluefruit, a Featherwing adalogger (data logger), 2 waterproof pressure sensitive momentary switches, a Featherwing protoboard and the Myoware kit for EMG if needed, r x 3 resistors (x1 30 Ohm and x2 10k)
- Order 3V Micro Motor (Vibration Feedback Device) Basically a cell phone vibrator.
- Essential Tip – The resistors will prevent you from drawing too much power to the vibration motor, if you did that you’ll fry the $30 Computer (Feather 32U4 or like)
- Install all the proper Libraries in the Arduino IDE Progam for the Feather, SD, and Adalogger Featherwing
- Solder the stacking headers and stack the Adalogger on top of the Feather.
- Add a protoboard on top of that. you have 3 boards stacked now.
- Connect all resistors to ground. Send, 2 positive leads to the 2 sensors (switches) and 2 Feather pins to other wires of the sensors (switches).
- Wire one positive lead to the vibration motor and one pin from the Feather. (In code) Use plenty, like 18″ of wire so the device can be set next to the bed.
- For the Myoware EMG Addition – Wire the Myoware sensor board to a Pin on the Feather ( it’s in code)
- Upload Arduino IDE Sketch Program Code to Feather32U4
- Essential Tip – Make a protective enclosure case. (Laser, 3d Print, or Amazon) If your precious device gets damaged during sleep, it won’t work. Sadness, trust me.
- Hot-melt the 2 sensors to a night guard form the drug store or your dentist or DIY your own.
- Buy a good heartrate FitBit to monitor sleep with (the FitBit Ionic Rocks or an old Surge), you ‘ll need to connect to FitbitTBit API to get all nightly data. I’ll have a tutorial soon on that.
- Compare CSV Fitbit Sleep Data with your sensor Clench events. Learn what’s going on. Adjust your feedback as necessary,
- Essential Tip – Make sure SD card is seated in, charged well, and use gentle fabric tape to secure during the night.
- For the Myoware EMG Sensor Option – After experimenting with your sensor values and pad placement adjust the Myoware Code to alert you when you clench. This may take some time to get right.
- Before sleep, tape vibration motor to your ear. It’s small, enough I actually use it as an earbud. Common sense, here be careful if it hurts, adjusts it. You can also buy a comfy headband that goes around your ears and velcros in the back.
- Essential Tip- Do breathing and jaw stretching exercises before bed, Ice if possible.
- Then go to sleep (preferably on your back) and let your magic sensor do it’s job of letting you know when you.
- Repeat. Whenever you have a good night, repeat again. ( i.e. you worked out, no alcohol or sugar before bed, CBD oil, breathing exercises, or whatever the fck made you sleep great)
- Keep track of everything for 60 days. Stop when you see the data taper.
- Live a beautiful headache and pain-free life.
And of course, there’s a Dentist
After the diagnose from my 2 dentists then going through 3.5k of TruDenta and 3 retainers, I noticed that I actually still micro-clenched my teeth many times during the day. My bite was aligned but I still had the bad habit. Although it is hard to break this bad habit, what I did worked. Unfortunately, the majority of people mostly clench or grind their teeth at night. Breaking this habit during sleep is somewhat harder (actually impossible..) since I am simply not aware that I am doing it.
There’s also was an expensive Mouth Guard, actually 3.
My dentist gave me a specially adjusted mouth guard that does not let my back teeth touch and I can see how this helps to protect your teeth when grinding but I don’t think it actually helps when clenching since the used force will simply be transferred through the mouth guard from lower to upper teeth (somewhat distributed and thus likely result in less pressure per teeth). So it would be nice to stop the clenching and chill out altogether.
And that is what this Hack is all about. Getting it right, being in control.
What is Bruxism?
What is a Pavlov Reaction?
DIY bruxism devices (Luc runs the Bruxism Google Group linked in Missions)
This sensor uses EMG (electromyography) to sense the electrical activity of your muscles. It then converts that into a varying voltage that can be read on the analog input pin of any microcontroller.
I have used this commercial clenching headband product and have a review here. I could not hear or got used to the sound because of my tinnitus.
Disclaimer – Don’t Sue my Ass
The content and the learning experimenting product mentioned on this page is not a medical device. No claims have been made for this content to behave as a medically related disease prevention, habit correction, cure or therapy tool. Keep small parts away from Children or Animals to prevent choking or death. Please abide by all local, national and international shipping rules for handling Lipo Lithium Rechargeable batteries, as well as State DOT, Airport security limitations. Not for human consumption.
The construction methods and medical information on this video and website are provided as an information resource only and are not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. This information is not intended to be patient education and does not create any patient-physician, nor teacher-student relationship. I am not a physician and this information should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment. Please consult your healthcare provider before making any healthcare decisions or make any guidance about the specific medical condition. Context Communications LLC (dba hackLAB) shall have no liability for any damages lost injury or liability whatsoever suffered as a result of that your reliance on this information on in this video or website.