• Hawley E. Montgomery-DownsEmail author
  • Lisa J. Meltzer
Part of the Respiratory Medicine book series (RM)


An actigraph is a small wristwatch-like device that collects data about movement and velocity as the participant follows their normal routine. Typically worn around the nondominant wrist by adolescents and older children, and around an ankle by infants and toddlers, the actigraph’s accelerometer can be used to identify periods of sleep and wake from the absence or presence, respectively, of detectable body movement. These data are stored in the actigraph until they are downloaded through an interface in the lab, clinic, or field, and analyzed using algorithms programmed in the computer software. The purpose of this chapter is to review the validity and use of actigraphy as a sleep assessment tool in pediatric sleep medicine and research, factors that need to be considered when deciding to use actigraphy for clinical or research purposes, issues specific to utilization of actigraphy in clinical populations, and future directions of actigraphy within pediatric sleep research.


Excessive Daytime Sleepiness Total Sleep Time Sleep Pattern Sleep Diary Current Procedural Terminology Code 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology—Behavioral NeuroscienceWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsNational Jewish HealthDenverUSA

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