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What Is Actigraphy?

Actigraphy is a non-invasive test used to assess cycles of activity and rest over a period of several days to several weeks. It's used to help determine whether certain sleep disorders exist, such as excessive daytime sleepiness, shift-work sleep disorder and insomnia. 

It can be used in conjunction with a particular sleep test called an MSLT, but can also be used by itself.

A small, wristwatch-sized device called an Actiwatch measures activity through light and movement. It's waterproof with time and date display, and is worn on the wrist.

Phillips Actiwatch
Phillips Actiwatch

What To Expect

Getting Ready

If your provider has requested you wear an Actiwatch, you'll be shown how to use it while at your appointment. You won't need to set it up -- it will already be preconfigured. You can start wearing it as soon as you leave your appointment.


Your provider will determine the length of time you will need to wear the Actiwatch. The Actiwatch has a very long battery life and will record whatever amount of time is needed for your test.

Bring your Actiwatch to your next scheduled appointment or testing date.

All Done, Now What?

The recorded data from the Actiwatch will be downloaded when you return the device. At your follow-up appointment, you'll receive your test results and discuss them with your provider.

If you'd like to use an Actiwatch:

The Actiwatch is not covered by insurance but may be covered by FSA/HSA.

The cost for the Actiwatch depends on how it's being used:

  1.  If you are using an Actiwatch prior to an MSLT test, the cost is $50.
  2.  If you are using the Actiwatch with no other study, the cost is $100.