Sleep Med Psychophysiol.  2016 Jun;23(1):10-15. 10.14401/KASMED.2016.23.1.10.

Quantitative Analysis of Actigraphy in Sleep Research

  • 1CIRUS, Centre for Sleep and Chronobiology, Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.


Since its development in the early 70s, actigraphy has been widely used in sleep research and clinical sleep medicine as an assessment tool of sleep and sleep-wake cycles. The validation and reliability of actigraphic measures have been reasonably examined in healthy normal individuals with good sleep patterns. Recent literature suggests that the use of actigraphy could be further extended to monitor insomnia and circadian sleep-wake disturbances, and detect sleep changes associated with drug treatments and non-pharmacologic interventions, although it is generally recommended to use complementary assessments such as sleep diaries and overnight polysomnography when possible. The development of actigraphy includes its improved hardware sensors for better detection of movements and advanced algorithms to score sleep and wake epochs. In this paper, we briefly review the quantitative analysis methods of actigraphy and its potential applications in sleep research.


Actigraphy; Sleep; Sleep-wake cycle; Quantitative analysis; Polysonmography

MeSH Terms

Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders
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