Actigraphy

Definition:

This technique uses a small device called an Actigraph worn on the wrist or ankle to measure body movement. It creates a pattern based on activity that is useful in assessing sleep-wake cycles across many days and nights (normally 14 days). It is useful for assessing advanced and delayed sleep phase disorders.

Advanced Sleep Phase Syndrome

Advanced sleep phase syndrome is a circadian rhythm disorder that causes someone to go to sleep earlier in the evening and wake earlier in the morning, compared to most people.

Individuals with this condition typically feel excessive sleepiness in the early evening and go to bed early as a result. They may complain that they wake early in the morning and cannot get back to sleep.

It occurs more often in the elderly and also seems to run in families. It may be a symptom of depression. It can be diagnosed with the use of sleep logs and actigraphy, and can be effectively treated with light box phototherapy, behavioral therapy and melatonin use.

Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome

In delayed sleep phase syndrome, the sleep period is delayed with respect to clock time. As a result, sleepiness and sleep onset occur later in the evening and, in turn, alertness and sleep offset occur later in the morning than is conventional. It is one of the circadian rhythm disorders.

Delayed sleep phase syndrome occurs most often in adolescents and young adults. It may be triggered by late light exposure or caffeine use late in the day, but it also tends to run in families and may persist well into adulthood. It can be diagnosed with the use of sleep logs and actigraphy, and can be effectively treated with light box phototherapy, behavioral therapy and melatonin use.

ActiWatch2

Endeavor Therapy & Sleep Center uses the Actiwatch 2 from Philips Electronics as its preferred actigraphy device. Actiwatch 2 is a rugged, reliable, and unobtrusive actigraphy device that is ideal if you are just getting started using actigraphy. It is waterproof and equipped with a light sensor and event marker to record when events of significance (like lights out time) occur. Actiwatch 2 is small and comfortable, making it well-suited for use with younger wearers or those sensitive about wearing a wrist-worn device.

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