Giuseppe Atzori

Senior Sleep Technologist
+44 (0)1483 683728
21 MA 00

Academic and research departments

School of Biosciences.


Kiran Kumar Guruswamy Ravindran, Ciro della Monica, Giuseppe Atzori, Shirin Enshaeifar, Sara Mahvash-Mohammadi, Derk-Jan Dijk, Victoria Revell (2021)Validation of technology to monitor sleep and bed occupancy in older men and women, In: Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association17(58)e056018

Background Nocturnal disturbance is frequently observed in dementia and is a major contributor to institutionalisation. Unobtrusive technology that can quantify sleep/wake and determine bed occupancy during the major nocturnal sleep episode may be beneficial for long-term clinical monitoring and the carer. Such technologies have, however, not been validated in older people. Here we assessed the performance of the Withings Sleep Mattress (WSM) in a heterogenous older population to ensure external validity. Method Eighteen participants (65 – 80 years, 10M:8F) completed 7-12 days of sleep/wake monitoring at home prior to an overnight laboratory session. WSM performance was compared to gold-standard (laboratory polysomnography [PSG] with video) and silver standard (actiwatch [AWS] and sleep diary at home). WSM data were downloaded from a third party API and the minute-to-minute sleep/wake timeseries extracted and time-ordered to create a sleep profile. Discontinuities in the timeseries were labelled as ‘missing data’ events. Results Participants contributed 107 nights with WSM and PSG or AWS data. In the laboratory, the overall epoch to epoch agreement (accuracy) of sleep/wake detection of WSM compared to PSG was 0.71 (sensitivity 0.8; specificity 0.45) and to AWS was 0.74 (sensitivity 0.77; specificity 0.53). Visual inspection of video recordings demonstrated that 20 of 21 ‘missing data’ events were true ‘out of bed’ events. These events were always associated with an increase in activity (AWS). At home, all 97 WSM ‘missing data’ events that occurred within the major nocturnal sleep episode defined by sleep diary data, were associated with an increase in activity levels in the AWS data and 36 of these events were also associated with an increase in light levels, indicating that the participant had left the bed. In several participants, data recorded by the WSM during daytime coincided with reported naps in the sleep diary. Conclusion Although WSM cannot reliably distinguish between sleep and wake, the presence/absence of data in WSM seem to be an accurate representation of whether older people are in or out of bed (bed occupancy). Thus, in dementia, this contactless, low-burden technology may be able to provide information about nocturnal disturbances and daytime naps in bed.

Kiran Kumar Guruswamy Ravindran, Ciro della Monica, Giuseppe Atzori, Damion Lambert, Victoria Louise Revell, Derk‐Jan Dijk (2022)Validity of a contactless device for long term monitoring of sleep in a heterogenous group of older men and women, In: Alzheimer's & dementia18(S8)

Background The incidence of sleep disturbances increases with normal aging and is highly prevalent among people living with dementia (PLWD). To facilitate management and improvement of sleep quality in PLWD, validated unintrusive contactless technologies for long term objective monitoring of sleep are needed. Here we evaluate the ability of a contactless sleep tracker to accurately determine Time in Bed (TIB), Wake vs Sleep and Sleep stages (wake, light, deep, and REM sleep). Method We deployed the Emfit (Emfit QS), a contactless sleep tracker placed under the mattress. The Emfit uses ballistography to estimate respiration and heart rate and sleep stages. We collected data from 16 participants (Age: Mean‐72.12; SD‐4.6 years [6F:10M]) at home for a 14‐day period followed by a single overnight laboratory polysomnography (PSG) sleep assessment. The Emfit outputs a) timeseries at 30 s intervals (four sleep stages) and b) overnight summary sleep parameters. Sleep staging and sleep parameter estimation by Emfit was compared to, a) in‐lab gold standard PSG, and b) at‐home wristworn accelerometer (Actiwatch spectrum (AWS)) and sleep diary (SD) data. The epoch‐to‐epoch sleep staging concordance of Emfit was estimated over the total recording interval (∼10hrs) of the PSG for the laboratory session and between 1800hrs and 1200hrs for each SD entry for the home recordings. The concordance analysis for the sleep parameters, bed entry and exit times were performed using the summary data automatically generated by Emfit. Result The concordance between the four‐class sleep staging of the Emfit and PSG was poor (Figure 1). The two class (sleep/wake) analysis (Table 1) showed high sleep classification accuracy (sensitivity) but poor wake classification accuracy (specificity) compared to PSG. The sleep parameter estimates of Emfit also showed poor agreement with PSG (Figure 2). The home analysis indicated excellent accuracy for Time in Bed (TIB) (i.e., the bed entry and exit times) as registered by the SD (Table 2) and total sleep time (TST) for both sleep diary and AWS (Figure 3). Conclusion : The contactless sleep tracker provides accurate information about Time in Bed (TIB), but there is a lack of consensus of the sleep state classification with the PSG.

Kiran Kumar Guruswamy Ravindran, Kiran K G Ravindran, Ciro Della Monica, Giuseppe Atzori, Damion Lambert, Victoria Louise Revell, Derk-Jan Dijk (2022)Evaluating the Empatica E4 Derived Heart Rate and Heart Rate Variability Measures in Older Men and Women, In: Proceedings of the 2022 44th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine & Biology Society (EMBC 2022)pp. 3370-3373 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Wearable heart rate monitors offer a cost-effective way of non-invasive, long-term monitoring of cardiac health. Validation of wearable technologies in an older populations is essential for evaluating their effectiveness during deployment in healthcare settings. To this end, we evaluated the validity of heart rate measures from a wearable device, Empatica E4, and compared them to the electrocardiography (ECG). We collected E4 data simultaneously with ECG in thirty-five older men and women during an overnight sleep recording in the laboratory. We propose a robust approach to resolve the missing inter-beat interval (IBI) data and improve the quality of E4 derived measures. We also evaluated the concordance of heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) measures with ECG. The results demonstrate that the automatic E4 heart rate measures capture long-term HRV whilst the short-term metrics are affected by missing IBIs. Our approach provides an effective way to resolve the missing IBI issue of E4 and extracts reliable heart rate measures that are concordant with ECG. Clinical Relevance— This work discusses data quality challenges in heart rate data acquired by wearables and provides an efficient and reliable approach for extracting heart rate measures from the E4 wearable device and validates the metrics in older adults


Nocturnal disturbance is frequently observed in dementia and is a major contributor to institutionalisation. Unobtrusive technology that can quantify sleep/wake and determine bed occupancy during the major nocturnal sleep episode may be beneficial for long-term clinical monitoring and the carer. Such technologies have, however, not been validated in older people. Here we assessed the performance of the Withings Sleep Mattress (WSM) in a heterogenous older population to ensure external validity.

C della Monica, G Atzori, S Johnsen, JA Groeger, D-J Dijk (2014)Associations between nocturnal sleep and daytime functioning in 206 healthy young, middle-aged and older participants, In: JOURNAL OF SLEEP RESEARCH23pp. 170-170
J Boyle, G Atzori, D-J Dijk, JA Groeger, W Paska, S Jones, J Scott, JA Cooper, P Gandhi, C Rockett (2012)A method to assess the dissipation of residual hypnotics: Eszopiclone versus zopiclone, In: Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology32(5)pp. 704-709

Next-day residual effects of single evening doses of 3 mg of eszopiclone, 7.5 mg of zopiclone, and placebo were assessed in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 3-way crossover study that used a mild sleep restriction protocol (sleep duration, 7 hours). During each period, 91 healthy volunteers spent 2 consecutive nights in the laboratory with time in bed restricted to 7 hours. Volunteers completed the Continuous Tracking Test, Critical Flicker Fusion task, Digit Symbol Substitution Test, N-back tasks, and Linear Analogue Rating Scales every half-hour from 7.5 to 11.5 hours after dose, commencing 15 minutes after awakening. Nighttime dosing of both eszopiclone (3 mg) and racemic zopiclone (7.5 mg) was associated with next-day performance impairment, and these residual effects dissipated over time. Eszopiclone did not differ from zopiclone on the primary end point, mean Continuous Tracking Test tracking error averaged from 7.5 to 9.5 hours after dose; however, a prespecified post hoc parametric analysis of reciprocal-transformed data favored eszopiclone over racemic zopiclone (P = 0.026). © 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

C Della Monica, G Atzori, D-J Dijk (2015)Effects of lunar phase on sleep in men and women in Surrey, In: JOURNAL OF SLEEP RESEARCH24(6)pp. 687-694 WILEY-BLACKWELL
C della Monica, Sigurd Johnsen, Giuseppe Atzori, J Groeger, Derk-Jan Dijk (2018)Rapid-Eye-Movement Sleep, Sleep Continuity and Slow Wave Sleep as Predictors of Cognition, Mood and Subjective Sleep Quality in Healthy Men and Women, Aged 20-84 Years, In: Frontiers in Psychiatry9255 Frontiers Media

Sleep and its sub-states are assumed to be important for brain function across the lifespan but which aspects of sleep associate with various aspects of cognition, mood and self-reported sleep quality has not yet been established in detail. Sleep was quantified by polysomnography, quantitative Electroencephalogram (EEG) analysis and self-report in 206 healthy men and women, aged 20–84 years, without sleep complaints. Waking brain function was quantified by five assessments scheduled across the day covering objectively assessed performance across cognitive domains including sustained attention and arousal, decision and response time, motor and sequence control, working memory, and executive function as well as self-reports of alertness, mood and affect. Controlled for age and sex, self-reported sleep quality was negatively associated with number of awakenings and positively associated with the duration of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, but no significant associations with Slow Wave Sleep (SWS) measures were observed. Controlling only for age showed that associations between objective and subjective sleep quality were much stronger in women than in men. Analysis of 51 performance measures demonstrated that, after controlling for age and sex, fewer awakenings and more REM sleep were associated significantly with better performance on the Goal Neglect task, which is a test of executive function. Factor analysis of the individual performance measures identified four latent variables labeled Mood/Arousal, Response Time, Accuracy, and Visual Perceptual Sensitivity. Whereas Mood/Arousal improved with age, Response Times became slower, while Accuracy and Visual perceptual sensitivity showed little change with age. After controlling for sex and age, nominally significant association between sleep and factor scores were observed such that Response Times were faster with more SWS, and Accuracy was reduced where individuals woke more often or had less REM sleep. These data identify a positive contribution of SWS to processing speed and in particular highlight the importance of sleep continuity and REM sleep for subjective sleep quality and performance accuracy across the adult lifespan. These findings warrant further investigation of the contribution of sleep continuity and REM sleep to brain function.

G Atzori, CA Lenunonds, ML Kotler, MJ Durcan, J Boyle (2008)Efficacy of a Nicotine (4 mg)-Containing Lozenge on the Cognitive Impairment of Nicotine Withdrawal, In: JOURNAL OF CLINICAL PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY28(6)pp. 667-674 LIPPINCOTT WILLIAMS & WILKINS
Annette Sterr, James Ebajemito, Kaare B. Mikkelsen, Maria Bonmati-Carrion, Nayantara Santhi, Ciro della Monica, Lucinda Grainger, Giuseppe Atzori, Victoria Revell, Stefan Debener, Derk-Jan Dijk, Maarten DeVos (2018)Sleep EEG Derived From Behind-the-Ear Electrodes (cEEGrid) Compared to Standard Polysomnography: A Proof of Concept Study, In: Frontiers in Human Neuroscience12452 Frontiers Research Foundation

Electroencephalography (EEG) recordings represent a vital component of the assessment of sleep physiology, but the methodology presently used is costly, intrusive to participants, and laborious in application. There is a recognized need to develop more easily applicable yet reliable EEG systems that allow unobtrusive long-term recording of sleep-wake EEG ideally away from the laboratory setting. cEEGrid is a recently developed flex-printed around-the-ear electrode array, which holds great potential for sleep-wake monitoring research. It is comfortable to wear, simple to apply, and minimally intrusive during sleep. Moreover, it can be combined with a smartphone-controlled miniaturized amplifier and is fully portable. Evaluation of cEEGrid as a motion-tolerant device is ongoing, but initial findings clearly indicate that it is very well suited for cognitive research. The present study aimed to explore the suitability of cEEGrid for sleep research, by testing whether cEEGrid data affords the signal quality and characteristics necessary for sleep stage scoring. In an accredited sleep laboratory, sleep data from cEEGrid and a standard PSG system were acquired simultaneously. Twenty participants were recorded for one extended nocturnal sleep opportunity. Fifteen data sets were scored manually. Sleep parameters relating to sleep maintenance and sleep architecture were then extracted and statistically assessed for signal quality and concordance. The findings suggest that the cEEGrid system is a viable and robust recording tool to capture sleep and wake EEG. Further research is needed to fully determine the suitability of cEEGrid for basic and applied research as well as sleep medicine.

Kaare Mikkelsen, James K. Ebajemito, Mari Bonmati‐Carrion, Nayantara Santhi, Victoria Revell, Giuseppe Atzori, Ciro della Monica, Stefan Debener, Derk-Jan Dijk, Annette Sterr, Maarte Vos (2019)Machine‐learning‐derived sleep–wake staging from around‐the‐ear electroencephalogram outperforms manual scoring and actigraphy, In: Journal of Sleep Research28(2)e12786 Wiley-Blackwell Publishing

Quantification of sleep is important for the diagnosis of sleep disorders and sleep research. However, the only widely accepted method to obtain sleep staging is by visual analysis of polysomnography (PSG), which is expensive and time consuming. Here, we investigate automated sleep scoring based on a low‐cost, mobile electroencephalogram (EEG) platform consisting of a lightweight EEG amplifier combined with flex‐printed cEEGrid electrodes placed around the ear, which can be implemented as a fully self‐applicable sleep system. However, cEEGrid signals have different amplitude characteristics to normal scalp PSG signals, which might be challenging for visual scoring. Therefore, this study evaluates the potential of automatic scoring of cEEGrid signals using a machine learning classifier (“random forests”) and compares its performance with manual scoring of standard PSG. In addition, the automatic scoring of cEEGrid signals is compared with manual annotation of the cEEGrid recording and with simultaneous actigraphy. Acceptable recordings were obtained in 15 healthy volunteers (aged 35 ± 14.3 years) during an extended nocturnal sleep opportunity, which induced disrupted sleep with a large inter‐individual variation in sleep parameters. The results demonstrate that machine‐learning‐based scoring of around‐the‐ear EEG outperforms actigraphy with respect to sleep onset and total sleep time assessments. The automated scoring outperforms human scoring of cEEGrid by standard criteria. The accuracy of machine‐learning‐based automated scoring of cEEGrid sleep recordings compared with manual scoring of standard PSG was satisfactory. The findings show that cEEGrid recordings combined with machine‐learning‐based scoring holds promise for large‐scale sleep studies.