Eva Winnebeck, PhD: Movement Rhythms During Sleep


The actimetry-based method allows for easily quantifiable sleep dynamics in real life context, enabling large-scale clinical studies to investigate the complex temporal dynamics of sleep.

“What we always leave out is that people move during sleep and that we might glean some information about that sleep from the movement."

Eva Winnebeck, PhD, postdoctoral scientist, of Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, sat down with NeurologyLive at the Congress of the European Sleep Research Society in Basel, Switzerland, to discuss movement rhythms during sleep.

While temporal dynamics of sleep are complex and often difficult to capture outside of a laboratory, studying these dynamics enables large-scale field studies that bridge the time scales needed to investigate the complex relationship. At the congress, Winnebeck and colleagues presented the first large-scale analysis of human sleep dynamics in real life through the utilization of longitudinal wrist movement recordings. A method was developed to probe ultradian sleep dynamics from wrist activity records: a non-linear transformation of locomotor activity to “Locomotor Inactivity During Sleep” (LIDS).

The analyses concluded that ultradian structure of sleep is directly reflected in Locomotor Inactivity During Sleep and that the method makes dynamics quantifiable in real life context. Winnebeck concluded that while it’s not polysomnography, the large datasets can be used to inform lab studies and provide the necessary quantitative sleep phenotypes for large field studies and outcome assessments in clinical trials.

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