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Actigraphy for monitoring leg movements

What is actigraphy?

Actigraphy is a method of monitoring leg movements in the home environment.

What do we record?

We record leg movements with an ‘actiwatch’ that looks like a watch and a leg sensor. Every time your child’s leg moves, the actiwatch and the sensor will detect and record this movement. This does not hurt.

Photograph of child's legs wearing a watch on their ankle and sensors on their other leg

What are we looking for?

We are looking to see what your child’s leg movements are like over 3 consecutive nights at home.

Which nights do I attach the actiwatch and sensor?

In your pack you will have a paper sleep diary which will have the dates of the 3 nights that the actiwatch should be worn.

Please only attach the actiwatch and sensor on the nights you have been told to use them as it has been pre-programmed for those specific nights. The actiwatch switches itself on and off and also has a green flashing light on the front when it is recording.

How do I attach the actiwatch and sensor?

The actiwatch is worn around the ankle and the blue sensor is worn on the side of the calf on the other leg.

  1. Attach the actiwatch and leg sensor each night just before your child’s bedtime.
  2. Remove the actiwatch and leg sensor the next morning.

We would like your child to wear the actiwatch and sensor for 3 nights in a row. Further information on how to attach the actiwatch and sensor check the separate information sheet in your pack.

Please make sure that the devices are kept dry and removed in the morning before bathing or showering

The actiwatch and sensor do not have to be worn in the daytime.

  1. Whenever your child gets into bed to try and sleep, press the button on the front of the watch (has a circle in the centre).
  2. When your child gets out of bed in the morning, press the same button again.
  3. Then take off the device. Put the device somewhere safe.

What is the sleep diary for?

We have also given you a paper sleep diary. Please complete this during the 3 nights that the actiwatch is worn. This will help us work out when your child falls asleep and wakes up on each of the 3 nights. There is also room for you to write down any comments about each night. For example, getting up to go to the toilet in the night, actiwatch fell off and reattached, and so on.

How do I return the actiwatch?

As discussed on the phone, we have prearranged a date and time for a courier to collect the actiwatch pack from you to return to the sleep house.

What happens next?

Once we have the actiwatch back at the Sleep House, the information is downloaded and analysed by the Sleep Physiology Team. Within a few weeks the results will be sent to the referring doctor.

Contact us

If you have any questions or concerns you can speak to the sleep physiology team on 0114 305 3042. Please leave a message on our answer phone and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

The Sleep House, 20 Claremont Crescent, Sheffield, S10 2TA

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: SLP8

Resource Type: Article

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