Actigraphic-measured sleep disturbance predicts increased positive symptoms in adolescents at ultra high-risk for psychosis: A longitudinal study

Jessica R. Lunsford-Avery*, Monique K. LeBourgeois, Tina Gupta, Vijay A. Mittal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Background: Sleep disturbance is prevalent among patients with psychosis, yet little is known about sleep health during the ultra high-risk (UHR) period. This study used actigraphy to evaluate sleep in healthy control (HC) and UHR adolescents to examine the relationship between sleep disturbance and psychosis symptoms at baseline and 12-month follow-up, as well as comparisons between objective and subjective measurements of sleep functioning in UHR youth. Method: Thirty-six UHR and 31 HC youth participated in a baseline evaluation including 5 nights of actigraphy, subjective measurement of sleep health (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index; PSQI), and clinical interviews. Clinical measures were repeated with UHR youth (N = 23) at a 12-month follow-up. Results: The actigraphy data indicated that UHR youth displayed increased wake time after onset (WASO), increased movements during sleep, and decreased efficiency compared to HC, and several markers of sleep disturbance including decreased efficiency, increased WASO, number of awakenings, and increased movements were associated with symptomatology in the UHR group. Interestingly, there were associations between actigraph and self-report indices of sleep duration and efficiency (at the trend level) but not awakenings. Several objective measures of sleep disturbance and one self-reported measure (disrupted continuity) predicted the longitudinal course of symptoms over 12. months in the UHR group. Conclusions: Taken together, the results suggest a potential role for sleep problems in the etiology of schizophrenia, and highlight sleep health as a possible target for prevention/intervention efforts. Additionally, actigraphy represents an inexpensive, sensitive measurement providing unique information not captured by self-report, and may be an informative adjunct to UHR assessments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-20
Number of pages6
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - May 1 2015


  • Actigraphy
  • Prodromal
  • Psychosis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Ultra high-risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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