Actigraphy (activity-based monitoring) has become an essential tool in sleep research and sleep medicine. The validity and limitations of actigraphy in documenting sleep-wake patterns are discussed. Some normative data exists across groups. Actigraphy has been used in a variety of clinical sleep disorders such as circadian rhythm sleep disorders, both in terms of diagnosis and in follow-up as well as in intervention studies. Limitations of actigrapghy exist. Controlling artifacts by using sleep logs and diaries will improve the efficacy. It is not sufficient as a stand-alone device to diagnose sleep-disordered breathing and any disorder which cause motion artefact limits its utility.
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