National Intrepid Center of Excellence uses actigraphy to record sleep patterns of service members with traumatic brain injuries, reports the US Department of Defense.

“Most people who’ve had traumatic brain injury who we see often have neurological complaints such as headaches, memory dysfunction, irritability, focus attention issues and sleep issues,” Panettiere said. During a sleep study, he said, the device measures brainwaves, muscle relaxation, how a patient is breathing and heart rhythm. Technicians can tell if a person has sleep apnea or a limb movement disorder.

Panettiere said the advantage of the ActiGraph is that the results are less artificial than they’d be if the patient had to sleep with all of the wires attached as they do in a traditional sleep study. “They’re back in their own bed, and we even do it a couple weeks with them wearing the watch if there’s any information that’s contrary to what we’ve found in the lab,” he said.