Actigraphy is a useful way to assess and manage sleep disorders

April 23, 2007

Actigraphy, the use of a portable device that records movement over extended periods of time, and has been used extensively in the study of sleep and circadian rhythms, provides an acceptably accurate estimate of sleep patterns in normal, healthy adult populations and in-patients suspected of certain sleep disorders, according to practice parameters published in the April 1st issue of the journal SLEEP.

The practice parameters, authored by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s (AASM) Standards of Practice Committee, were developed as a guide to the appropriate use of actigraphy, both as a diagnostic tool in the evaluation of sleep disorders and as an outcome measure of treatment efficacy in clinical settings with appropriate patient populations.

Actigraphy is indicated to assist in the evaluation of patients with advanced sleep phase syndrome, delayed sleep phase syndrome, and shift work disorder. Additionally, there is some evidence to support the use of actigraphy in the evaluation of patients suspected of jet lag disorder and non-24 hour sleep/wake syndrome. Further, when polysomnography is not available, actigraphy is indicated to estimate total sleep time in patients with obstructive sleep apnea.

In patients with insomnia and hypersomnia, there is evidence to support the use of actigraphy in the characterization of circadian rhythms and sleep patterns and disturbances. In assessing response to therapy, actigraphy has proven useful as an outcome measure in patients with circadian rhythms and insomnia.

In older adults, actigraphy characterizes sleep and circadian patterns and documents treatment responses. Similarly, in normal infants and children, as well as special pediatric populations, actigraphy has proven useful for delineating sleep patterns and documenting treatment responses.

"This evidence based review and update of the indications for actigraphy use provides sleep clinicians with needed evidence for where actigraphy may be helpful, and where it is unlikely to be helpful," said Timothy Morgenthaler, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., one of the committee members. "Because there is substantial evidence to indicate actigraphy is indicated for evaluation and management of specific common sleep disorders, we are hopeful that clinicians, and insurers, will become more aware of its usefulness and more familiar with its application. We believe that applying these recommendations will result in a higher quality of patient care in certain circumstances."

Those who think they might have a sleep disorder are urged to discuss their problem with their primary care physician, who will issue a referral to a sleep specialist.

Source: American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Explore further: Sleep problems more prevalent than expected in urban minority children

Related Stories

Cherry juice gives a good nights' sleep

November 2, 2011

Drinking cherry juice significantly improves both the quality and duration of sleep, according to new findings from Northumbria University.

Study helps explain why elderly have trouble sleeping

August 20, 2014

As people grow older, they often have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, and tend to awaken too early in the morning. In individuals with Alzheimer's disease, this common and troubling symptom of aging tends to ...

Natural light in office boosts health

August 8, 2014

Office workers with more light exposure at the office had longer sleep duration, better sleep quality, more physical activity and better quality of life compared to office workers with less light exposure in the workplace, ...

Recommended for you

Artificial beta cells

December 8, 2016

Researchers led by ETH Professor Martin Fussenegger at the Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering (D-BSSE) in Basel have produced artificial beta cells using a straightforward engineering approach.

Key regulator of bone development identified

December 8, 2016

Loss of a key protein leads to defects in skeletal development including reduced bone density and a shortening of the fingers and toes—a condition known as brachydactyly. The discovery was made by researchers at Penn State ...

Researchers question lifelong immunity to toxoplasmosis

December 8, 2016

Medical students are taught that once infected with Toxoplasma gondii—the "cat parasite"—then you're protected from reinfection for the rest of your life. This dogma should be questioned, argue researchers in an Opinion ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.