To determine whether wrist actigraphy is useful as a tool for space-based sleep research. Specifically, to determine whether bedtimes and waketimes can be identified from the actigraphic record, and whether actigraphic measures of sleep in space are related to polysomnographic (PSG) ones.
Design & Setting:
Actigraphy, sleep diary, and Polysomnographic (PSG) measures of sleep were obtained from four subjects in two 72h measurement blocks occurring 2d and 12d into a 17d Space Shuttle mission in orbiting the earth in microgravity.
Four healthy male astronauts aged 38y - 47y.
Measurements & Results:
Sleep onset and offset at "night" could be quite clearly identified from the actigraphic record and were better estimated by actigraph than by diary. There was a high correlation between actigraphic and PSG estimates of sleep duration (r = 0.96) and sleep efficiency (r = 0.88), and a similarity in the mean estimates obtained. On a minute-by-minute basis, there was a good correlation between sleep stage and actigraphic movement counts, with a higher level of counts per minute recorded in epochs with lighter PSG sleep stages. There was also a high correlation (r = 0.90) between minutes of stage 0 (wake) occurring between bedtime and wake time, and number of non-zero actigraph epochs during the same interval.
Actigraphy worked well in space both as a way of detecting bedtimes and waketimes, and as an indicant of sleep restlessness.