The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Validation of Sleep Measures from Four Personal Health Devices

The Challenge

Many new personal health monitoring devices provide a measure of sleep quantity and quality. Whether these measures are accurate is unknown.

The Innovation/Technology

We compared measures from these devices to research-based actigraphy and polysomnography, the gold-standard for sleep measurement.

The Impact

Whether these devices provide accurate feedback on sleep is important before devices are used for clinical and research purposes.

The Solution

By comparing device-measured sleep to polysomnography, we can assess the device validity. For all devices (Misfit, Fitbit, Withings, and Basis), we found no difference and strong correlation of total sleep time with PSG. Sleep efficiency differed from PSG for Withings, Misfit, Fitbit, and Basis, while Actiwatch (research-based actigraph) mean values did not differ from that of PSG. Only mean values of sleep efficiency (time asleep/time in bed) from Actiwatch correlated with PSG, yet this correlation was weak. Light sleep time differed from PSG (nREM1 + nREM2) for all devices. Measures of Deep sleep time did not differ from PSG (SWS + REM) for Basis. These results reveal the current strengths and limitations in sleep estimates produced by personal health monitoring devices and point to a need for future development.

Mantua J, Gravel N, Spencer RM, Reliability of Sleep Measures from Four Personal Health Monitoring Devices Compared to Research-Based Actigraphy and Polysomnography. Sensors (Basel). 2016 May 5;16(5). pii: E646. doi: 10.3390/s16050646.
Contact Info

Rebecca Spencer
Department of Psychological & Brain Sciences
(413) 545-5987