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Actigraphy is a study that records day and night activity using a special motion meter called an actigraph. Thanks to actigraphy it is possible to measure, among others the amount of time spent actively, the time you sleep, the number of awakenings during sleep, or the number of naps during the day. What are the indications for actigraphy? What diseases can it detect? How is the test performed?

Aktygraphiais a continuous, usually several days long, day and night activity recording with a special device called actigraphy. It allows you to calculate total and average sleep time, sleep latency (time to fall asleep), number of awakenings during sleep, number of naps during the day, amount of time spent actively and inactive during the day.

Aktygrafia - indications for the test

Actigraphy is used:

  • for sleep disorders, e.g. insomnia
  • in people suffering from malignant forms of hypertension
  • in psychological research to objectify introversion and extraversion
  • in surveys of shift workers
  • in people with different types of visual impairment
  • if restless legs syndrome is suspected

Aktygrafia - what is it?

An actograph is put on the patient's wrist (or less frequently ankle) - a device that looks like a wristwatch. It is worn by right-handed people on the left wrist, while left-handed people - on the right wrist.

The optimal examination time is 7 days.

As you walk and perform daily activities, the device records the number of movements which is saved in its memory. After completing the examination, the actigraph sends the information to a computer, where it is processed by a special program that allows for a graphic representation of the subject's activity.

Additionally, during the test, a noise sensor (usually attached to the ear, e.g. to the collar of a shirt) or lighting can be used. It is then possible to record the patient's exposure to these environmental factors.

The diagnostic value of actigraphy is greater if the patient keeps a sleep diary at the same time.

Aktygrafia - how to interpret the results?

Actigraphy can detect differentdisturbance. For example, if the record shows the patient's increased activity (turning in bed) during the night, insomnia may be suspected. On the other hand, if the record shows a shift in the sleep period from night to morning and morning hours, one may suspectdelayed sleep phase syndrome . If at night, with only a short break between 1:50 and 2:20, the actograph records increased motor activity associated with periods of wakefulness and periodic limb movements during sleep, RLS may be suspected.

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