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Free Content Time of day effects in, and the relationship between, sleep quality and movement

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The study aimed to measure the effects of a 27-h ‘day’ sleep-wake regime on actigraphic and subjective sleep variables, and to examine the relationships between these variables. Nine subjects spent 30 days and nights in the laboratory. After sleeping 8 h for each of 8 nights, the subjects had an imposed 27-h ‘day’, for 18 ‘days’, remaining in bed for 9 h on each sleep period. Sleep periods therefore started 3 h later each day, although subjects’ circadian rhythms stayed entrained to 24 h, because subjects were not isolated from the natural light-dark cycle. Time asleep, subjective sleep efficiency and subjective sleep quality, but not movement during sleep, were found to be significantly affected by time of going to bed. There were significant decreases in movement during recovery sleeps following each of two episodes of 26 h sleep deprivation. Over the study there were significant within-subject correlations between subjective sleep quality and subjective sleep efficiency (rav=0.65), movement during sleep and subjective sleep efficiency (rav=−0.48), and movement during sleep and subjective sleep quality (rav=–0.26). We conclude that sleep movement, despite its low within-and between-subjects variability, is nevertheless a statistically reliable, but weak, indicator of subjective sleep efficiency and quality.

Keywords: actigraphy; motor activity; sleep deprivation; sleep efficiency; sleep quality; time of day

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Body Rhythms and Shiftwork Centre, Department of Psychology, University of Wales Swansea, Wales, UK

Publication date: December 1, 1998

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