Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 7 (5), 995-1007

Video Tracking and Analysis of Sleep in Drosophila Melanogaster


Video Tracking and Analysis of Sleep in Drosophila Melanogaster

Giorgio F Gilestro. Nat Protoc.


In the past decade, Drosophila has emerged as an ideal model organism for studying the genetic components of sleep as well as its regulation and functions. In fruit flies, sleep can be conveniently estimated by measuring the locomotor activity of the flies using techniques and instruments adapted from the field of circadian behavior. However, proper analysis of sleep requires degrees of spatial and temporal resolution higher than is needed by circadian scientists, as well as different algorithms and software for data analysis. Here I describe how to perform sleep experiments in flies using techniques and software (pySolo and pySolo-Video) previously developed in my laboratory. I focus on computer-assisted video tracking to monitor fly activity. I explain how to plan a sleep analysis experiment that covers the basic aspects of sleep, how to prepare the necessary equipment and how to analyze the data. By using this protocol, a typical sleep analysis experiment can be completed in 5-7 d.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 29 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles


    1. J Biol Rhythms. 2003 Feb;18(1):12-25 - PubMed
    1. Science. 2006 Sep 22;313(5794):1775-81 - PubMed
    1. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Dec 23;105(51):20392-7 - PubMed
    1. Nat Methods. 2009 Jun;6(6):451-7 - PubMed
    1. J Neurosci. 2009 Sep 2;29(35):11029-37 - PubMed

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources