Research Study Abstract

Direct comparison of two actigraphy devices with polysomnographically recorded naps in healthy young adults

  • Published on March 1, 2013

The last 20 yrs have seen a marked increase in studies utilizing actigraphy in free-living environments. The aim of the present study is to directly compare two commercially available actigraph devices with concurrent polysomnography (PSG) during a daytime nap in healthy young adults. Thirty healthy young adults, ages 18–31 (mean 20.77 yrs, SD 3.14 yrs) simultaneously wore AW-64 and GT3Xþ devices during a polysomnographically recorded nap. Mann-Whitney U (M-U) test, intraclass correlation coefficients, and Bland-Altman statistic were used to compare total sleep time (TST), sleep onset latency (SOL), wake after sleep onset (WASO), and sleep efficiency (SE) between the two actigraphs and PSG. Epoch-by-epoch (EBE) agreement was calculated to determine accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, predictive values for sleep (PVS) and wake (PVW), and kappa and prevalence- and bias-adjusted kappa (PABAK) coefficients. All frequency settings provided by the devices were examined. For both actigraphs, EBE analysis found accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, PVS, and PVW comparable to previous reports of other similar devices. Kappa and PABAK coefficients showed moderate to high agreement with PSG depending on device settings. The GT3Xþ overestimated TST and SE, and underestimated SOL and WASO, whereas no significant difference was found between AW-64 and PSG. However, GT3Xþ showed overall better EBE agreements to PSG than AW-64. We conclude that both actigraphs are valid and reliable devices for detecting sleep/wake diurnal patterns. The choice between devices should be based on several parameters as reliability, cost of the device, scoring algorithm, target population, experimental condition, and aims of the study (e.g., sleep and/or physical activity).


  • Nicola Cellini 1
  • Matthew P. Buman 2
  • Elizabeth A. McDevitt 3
  • Ashley A. Ricker 3
  • Sara C. Mednick 3


  • 1

    Department of General Psychology, University of Padua, Padua, Italy

  • 2

    School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, Arizona State University, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

  • 3

    Department of Psychology, University of California, Riverside, California, USA


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