A potential new way of diagnosing sleep disorders has been uncovered by scientists in Germany and Israel.
Sleep disorder diagnosis currently centres on the monitoring of breathing, brain waves and heart rate through the attachment of sensors and electrodes to the head and body.
However, researchers at Technische Universitat Ilmenau, Bar-Ilan University Martin-Luther-Universitat Halle-Wittenberg and Schlafmedizinisches Zentrum der Charite Berlin have moved closer to simplifying the process significantly.
Using a mathematical technique, the scientists were able to assess the relationship between a person's heartbeat and breathing patterns simply by analysing a recording of their heartbeat.
They hope to use this information to diagnose sleep disorders and are also optimistic that the technique could lead to the development of ways to treat congestive heart failure.
The technique could additionally lead to athletes being afforded help to improve their fitness regimes.
Common sleep disorders include insomnia, bruxism, cataplexy and narcolepsy.