A system and method for detecting, monitoring and analyzing physiological characteristics. Signals from a subject are acquired from a suite of sensors, such as temperature, carbon dioxide, humidity, light, movement, electromagnetic and vibration sensors, in a passive, non-invasive manner. The signals are processed, and physiological characteristics are isolated for analysis. The system and method are to analyze sleep patterns, as well as to prevent bed sores or detect conditions such as illness, restless leg syndrome, periodic leg movement, sleep walking, or sleep apnea. However, numerous other applications of the invention are also disclosed.