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Sleep. 1994 Dec;17(8):688-92.

Nightcap measurement of sleep quality in self-described good and poor sleepers.

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Laboratory of Neurophysiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.


The Nightcap is a home-based sleep monitoring device that reliably differentiates rapid eye movement sleep, nonrapid eye movement sleep and wake states using eyelid and body movement measurements. This study documents its capacity to measure differences in sleep latency and sleep efficiency between self-described good and poor sleepers drawn from a normal population. Ten self-described "good" sleepers and 11 self-described "poor" sleepers were selected from a pool of college students. These groups differed significantly on selection parameters and on subjective estimates of sleep quality obtained each morning during the study. Each subject wore the Nightcap at home for 12-17 nights. Statistically significant differences in Nightcap-measured sleep latency and sleep efficiency were obtained between groups using individual subject means. In individual subjects, Nightcap measurements of sleep latency were correlated with subjective estimates of sleep latency. Poor sleepers were less accurate in estimating their sleep onset latency than were good sleepers. The demonstrated sensitivity of the Nightcap to good and poor sleep in these normal subjects augurs well for its application in a clinical setting.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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