Abstract

Several sleep disorders are characterized by periodic leg movements during sleep including Restless Leg Syndrome, and can indicate disrupted sleep in otherwise healthy individuals. Current technologies to measure periodic leg movements during sleep are limited. Polysomnography and some home sleep tests use surface electromyography to measure electrical activity from the anterior tibilias muscle. Actigraphy uses 3-axis accelerometers to measure movement of the ankle. Electromyography misses periodic leg movements that involve other leg muscles and is obtrusive because of the wires needed to carry the signal. Actigraphy based devices require large amplitude movements of the ankle to detect leg movements (missing the significant number of more subtle leg movements) and can be worn in multiple configurations precluding precision measurement. These limitations have contributed to their lack of adoption as a standard of care for several sleep disorders. In this study, we develop the RestEaze sleep assessment tool as an ankle-worn wearable device that combines capacitive sensors and a 6-axis inertial measurement unit to precisely measure periodic leg movements during sleep. This unique combination of sensors and the form-factor of the device addresses current limitations of periodic leg movements during sleep measurement techniques. Pilot data collected shows high correlation with polysomnography across a heterogeneous participant sample and high usability ratings. RestEaze shows promise in providing ecologically valid, longitudinal measures of leg movements that will be useful for clinicians, researchers, and patients to better understand sleep.

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