Exploring Variations in Sleep Perception: Comparative Study of Chatbot Sleep Logs and Fitbit Sleep Data

Background: Patient-generated health data are important in the management of several diseases. Although there are limitations, information can be obtained using a wearable device and time-related information such as exercise time or sleep time can also be obtained. Fitbits can be used to acquire sleep onset, sleep offset, total sleep time (TST), and wakefulness after sleep onset (WASO) data, although there are limitations regarding the depth of sleep and satisfaction; therefore, the patient’s subjective response is still important information that cannot be replaced by wearable devices. Objective: To effectively use patient-generated health data related to time such as sleep, it is first necessary to understand the characteristics of the time response recorded by the user. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyze the characteristics of individuals’ time perception in comparison with wearable data. Methods: Sleep data were acquired for 2 weeks using a Fitbit. Participants’ sleep records were collected daily through chatbot conversations while wearing the Fitbit, and the two sets of data were statistically compared. Results: In total, 736 people aged 30-59 years were recruited for this study, and the sleep data of 543 people who wore a Fitbit and responded to the chatbot for more than 7 days on the same day were analyzed. Research participants tended to respond to sleep-related times on the hour or in 30-minute increments, and each participant responded within the range of 60-90 minutes from the value measured by the Fitbit. On average for all participants, the chat responses and the Fitbit data were similar within a difference of approximately 15 minutes. Regarding sleep onset, the participant response was 8 minutes and 39 seconds (SD 58 minutes) later than that of the Fitbit data, whereas with respect to sleep offset, the response was 5 minutes and 38 seconds (SD 57 minutes) earlier. The participants’ actual sleep time (AST) indicated in the chat was similar to that obtained by subtracting the WASO from the TST measured by the Fitbit. The AST was 13 minutes and 39 seconds (SD 87 minutes) longer than the time WASO was subtracted from the Fitbit TST. On days when the participants reported good sleep, they responded 19 (SD 90) minutes longer on the AST than the Fitbit data. However, for each sleep event, the probability that the participant’s AST was within ±30 and ±60 minutes of the Fitbit TST-WASO was 50.7% and 74.3%, respectively. Conclusions: The chatbot sleep response and Fitbit measured time were similar on average and the study participants had a slight tendency to perceive a relatively long sleep time if the quality of sleep was self-reported as good. However, on a participant-by-participant basis, it was difficult to predict participants’ sleep duration responses with Fitbit data. Individual variations in sleep time perception significantly affect patient responses related to sleep, revealing the limitations of objective measures obtained through wearable devices.

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