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Circadian rest-activity patterns are monitored primarily through actigraphy (often with measures of light exposure), and sometimes using heart rate derived from the electrocardiogram (ECG). Sleep is monitored through a combination of the electroencephalogram (EEG), the electromyogram (EMG), the electrooculargram (EOG), respiratory monitors and photoplethysmogram (PPG). All of these methods, with the exception of actigraphy, involve intrusive electrodes and wires, and relatively expensive equipment which require expert use. Such approaches can lead to disturbances in activity or sleep which change behaviour and are unsuitable for routine monitoring.

Actigraphy has taken on an important role in sleep research in recent years, able to detect circadian timing abnormalities, including prolonged, shifted or fragmented sleep periods. Several groups have begun to analyse successfully the rest-activity patterns of patients with schizophrenia, bipolar or unipolar depression using actigraphy. We will explore how actigraphy might provide additional diagnostic information for the measurement of sleep and circadian behaviour in psychosis.

In addition to actigraphy, we aim to maximise the use of other recording techniques such as video and audio and develop non-invasive methods of recording ECG, EEG, blood pressure and body temperature. We intend to maximise on our recent developments in mobile phone-based recording systems to achieve this.

Our Team


Daily longitudinal self-monitoring of mood variability in bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder

A. Tsanas, K.E. Saunders, A.C. Bilderbeck, N. Palmius, G.D. Clifford, G,M. Goodwin, & De Vos, M. (2016) J Affect Disorder, 205, 225-233