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J Clin Sleep Med. 2010 Aug 15;6(4):336-42.

Validity of activity-based devices to estimate sleep.

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Center for Clinical Investigation, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, OH 44106-7291, USA.



The aim of this study was to examine the feasibility of sleep estimation using a device designed and marketed to measure core physical activity.


Thirty adolescent participants in an epidemiological research study wore 3 actigraphy devices on the wrist over a single night concurrent with polysomnography (PSG). Devices used include Actical actigraph, designed and marketed for placement around the trunk to measure physical activity, in addition to 2 standard actigraphy devices used to assess sleep-wake states: Sleepwatch actigraph and Actiwatch actigraph. Sleep-wake behaviors, including total sleep time (TST) and sleep efficiency (SE), were estimated from each wrist-device and PSG. Agreements between each device were calculated using Pearson product movement correlation and Bland-Altman plots.


Statistical analyses of TST revealed strong correlations between each wrist device and PSG (r = 0.822, 0.836, and 0.722 for Sleepwatch, Actiwatch, and Actical, respectively). TST measured using the Actical correlated strongly with Sleepwatch (r = 0.796), and even stronger still with Actiwatch (r = 0.955). In analyses of SE, Actical correlated strongly with Actiwatch (r = 0.820; p < 0.0001), but not with Sleepwatch (0.405; p = 0.0266). SE determined by PSG correlated somewhat strongly with SE estimated from the Sleepwatch and Actiwatch (r = 0.619 and 0.651, respectively), but only weakly with SE estimated from the Actical (r = 0.348; p = 0.0598).


The results from this study suggest that a device designed for assessment of physical activity and truncal placement can be used to measure sleep duration as reliably as devices designed for wrist use and sleep wake inference.

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