• Allison L. Wainer
  • Lisa J. Meltzer


There is a growing evidence base supporting the use of actigraphy to estimate sleep-wake patterns in children with neurodevelopmental disabilities. Using activity levels, actigraphy provides a more objective estimate of sleep-wake patterns compared to parental- or self-report. Additionally, it is a more feasible and acceptable approach for measuring sleep and wakefulness over extended periods of time in children with neurodevelopmental disabilities in their natural sleeping environments. This chapter will begin with an overview of actigraphy and offer guidelines for the use of this approach in practice. Next, research utilizing actigraphy with children with neurodevelopmental disabilities and special considerations for this particular population will be reviewed. Finally, suggestions for future directions, recommendations, and conclusions related to the use of actigraphy with children with neurodevelopmental disabilities will be offered. A case example will be presented to highlight the potential role of actigraphy for understanding sleep-wake patterns in children with neurodevelopmental disabilities.


Accelerometer Actigraphy Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder Autism spectrum disorder Children Insomnia Neurodevelopmental disabilities Pediatric Sleep Wake 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Allison L. Wainer
    • 1
  • Lisa J. Meltzer
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryRush University Medical CenterChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsNational Jewish HealthDenverUSA

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