Total sleep time obtained from actigraphy versus sleep logs in an academic sleep center and impact on further sleep testing

R. Robert Auger, Ranji Varghese, Michael H. Silber, Nancy L. Slocumb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: While actigraphy has been deemed ideal for the longitudinal assessment of total sleep time (TST) by select groups, endorsement has not been universal and reimbursement is lacking, preventing its widespread use in clinical practice. This study compares longitudinal TST data obtained by actigraphy and logs preceding a clinical evaluation, and secondarily ascertains whether longitudinal TST impacts clinicians’ decisions to proceed with further sleep testing. Methods: This was a retrospective, consecutive chart review spanning about 4 months in an academic sleep center. Eighty-four patients wore actigraphs in anticipation of clinical evaluations. Concomitant completion of sleep logs is routinely requested in this setting. Longitudinal TST data available in complete form was reviewed in a blinded fashion among a subset of these patients. A review of text from clinical notes of an expanded cohort with complete actigraphy data (regardless of the degree of completion of logs) enabled determination of the frequency and rationale for cancellation of prescheduled sleep testing. Results: Of 84 actigraphy recordings, 90% produced complete data, and 30% produced fully completed logs. Among the subset with both available in complete form, significant mean TST differences were observed on weekends (7.06 ± 2.18 hours versus 8.30 ± 1.93 hours, P = 0.009), but not on weekdays (7.38 ± 1.97 hours versus 7.72 ± 1.62 hours, P = 0.450) for actigraphy and logs, respectively. Further analyses revealed poor agreement between the two measures, with predominantly increased TST estimation with logs. Among those with complete actigraphy data (±logs), testing was cancelled in 11 (15%), eight of whom (73%) presented with hypersomnia and three of whom (27%) presented with insomnia. Determination of insufficient sleep time was cited as the primary reason for cancellation (64%). Conclusion: Actigraphy and sleep logs provided discrepant mean TST data on weekends only, and the latter predominantly estimated increased TST. Actigraphy was completed more reliably than logs. Longitudinal TST information influenced clinicians’ decisions to proceed with further testing, particularly among patients presenting with hypersomnia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-131
Number of pages7
JournalNature and Science of Sleep
StatePublished - 2013


  • Multiple sleep latency testing
  • Polysomnography
  • Sleep diaries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Total sleep time obtained from actigraphy versus sleep logs in an academic sleep center and impact on further sleep testing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this