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Capturing sleep-wake cycles by using day-to-day smartphone touchscreen interactions


Borger, Jay N; Huber, Reto; Ghosh, Arko (2019). Capturing sleep-wake cycles by using day-to-day smartphone touchscreen interactions. n p j Digital Medicine, 2:73.

Abstract

Body movements drop with sleep, and this behavioural signature is widely exploited to infer sleep duration. However, a reduction in body movements may also occur in periods of intense cognitive activity, and the ubiquitous use of smartphones may capture these wakeful periods otherwise hidden in the standard measures of sleep. Here, we continuously captured the gross body movements using standard wrist-worn accelerometers to quantify sleep (actigraphy) and logged the timing of the day-to-day touchscreen events ('tappigraphy'). Using these measures, we addressed how the gross body movements overlap with the cognitively engaging digital behaviour (from  = 79 individuals, accumulating ~1400 nights). We find that smartphone use was distributed across a broad spectrum of physical activity levels, but consistently peaked at rest. We estimated the putative sleep onset and wake-up times from the actigraphy data to find that these times were well correlated to the estimates from tappigraphy (R = 0.9 for sleep-onset time and wake-up time). However, actigraphy overestimated sleep as virtually all of the users used their phones during the putative sleep period. Interestingly, the probability of touches remained greater than zero for ~2 h after the putative sleep onset, and ~2 h before the putative wake-up time. Our findings suggest that touchscreen interactions are widely integrated into modern sleeping habits-surrounding both sleep onset and waking-up periods-yielding a new approach to measuring sleep. Smartphone interactions can be leveraged to update the behavioural signatures of sleep with these peculiarities of modern digital behaviour.

Abstract

Body movements drop with sleep, and this behavioural signature is widely exploited to infer sleep duration. However, a reduction in body movements may also occur in periods of intense cognitive activity, and the ubiquitous use of smartphones may capture these wakeful periods otherwise hidden in the standard measures of sleep. Here, we continuously captured the gross body movements using standard wrist-worn accelerometers to quantify sleep (actigraphy) and logged the timing of the day-to-day touchscreen events ('tappigraphy'). Using these measures, we addressed how the gross body movements overlap with the cognitively engaging digital behaviour (from  = 79 individuals, accumulating ~1400 nights). We find that smartphone use was distributed across a broad spectrum of physical activity levels, but consistently peaked at rest. We estimated the putative sleep onset and wake-up times from the actigraphy data to find that these times were well correlated to the estimates from tappigraphy (R = 0.9 for sleep-onset time and wake-up time). However, actigraphy overestimated sleep as virtually all of the users used their phones during the putative sleep period. Interestingly, the probability of touches remained greater than zero for ~2 h after the putative sleep onset, and ~2 h before the putative wake-up time. Our findings suggest that touchscreen interactions are widely integrated into modern sleeping habits-surrounding both sleep onset and waking-up periods-yielding a new approach to measuring sleep. Smartphone interactions can be leveraged to update the behavioural signatures of sleep with these peculiarities of modern digital behaviour.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:29 July 2019
Deposited On:09 Aug 2019 13:15
Last Modified:12 Apr 2020 07:47
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2398-6352
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41746-019-0147-4
PubMed ID:31372507
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID320030_153387
  • : Project TitleExploring diurnal changes in markers of cortical plasticity using multimodal imaging in healthy children and adolescents and in patients with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

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