An actigraphy study is a simple and easy test to measure your movements during a 24-hour cycle.

What is actigraphy?

An actigraphy study is a simple and easy test to measure your movements during an entire 24-hour cycle. This means the study records your activity levels during the day and night. 

You will be asked to wear an Actiwatch, which looks just like a regular sports watch. The Actiwatch is worn on your non-dominant hand for a period of 14 to 28 days.

Often, actigraphy is performed prior to polysomnography. It can be used as a tool to ensure adequate sleep leading up to further sleep investigations.

Information recorded by actigraphy can be very helpful in investigating for insomnia and circadian rhythm disorders, such as delayed sleep phase disorder.

Having an actigraphy study

The test is relatively non-intrusive to your day to day.

You will be asked to wear a special watch (Actiwatch) for an agreed duration. This is to be worn at all times unless showering, bathing, or swimming. We will ask you to press a button on the watch each night as you get in bed to initiate sleep, and also when you are terminating sleep and get out of bed. By doing this, the physiologist will be able to record an estimated sleep time, latency, and efficiency upon download.

The watch will provide information about your sleep pattern and hygiene, which can be used as a tool to investigate your sleep complaints. A sleep diary is also given, which is expected to be completed each morning for the duration of the test. This includes information regarding naps, exercise, caffeine intake, and a subjective measurement of sleep quality.

No preparation is required before the test. However, as the test is performed over at least 14 days, we ask that you ensure you do not plan any holidays or undertake any unusual trips or activities during this period.

The aim of the test is to measure your normal activity levels, so it is important to ensure you stick to your usual routine.

The results are analysed by the physiologist once the watch is returned. Our sleep consultant then interprets and reports this
information. The final report will be returned to the referring physician within 10 days of completion.

Paying for your treatment

We welcome both self-paying and insured patients.

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Please note - regrettably we are unable to answer specific medical questions or offer medical advice via email or telephone.