Objective: Although atrial fibrillation (AF) recurrence is unpredictable in terms of onset and duration, current intermittent rhythm monitoring (IRM) diagnostic modalities are short-termed and discontinuous. The aim of the present study was to investigate the necessary IRM frequency required to reliably detect recurrence of various AF recurrence patterns. Methods: The rhythm histories of 647 patients (mean AF burden: 12±22% of monitored time; 687 patient-years) with implantable continuous monitoring devices were reconstructed and analyzed. With the use of computationally intensive simulation, we evaluated the necessary IRM frequency to reliably detect AF recurrence of various AF phenotypes using IRM of various durations. Results: The IRM frequency required for reliable AF detection depends on the amount and temporal aggregation of the AF recurrence (p<0.0001) as well as the duration of the IRM (p<0.001). Reliable detection (>95% sensitivity) of AF recurrence required higher IRM frequencies (>12 24-hour; >6 7-day; >4 14-day; >3 30-day IRM per year; p<0.0001) than currently recommended. Lower IRM frequencies will under-detect AF recurrence and introduce significant bias in the evaluation of therapeutic interventions. More frequent but of shorter duration, IRMs (24-hour) are significantly more time effective (sensitivity per monitored time) than a fewer number of longer IRM durations (p<0.0001). Conclusions: Reliable AF recurrence detection requires higher IRM frequencies than currently recommended. Current IRM frequency recommendations will fail to diagnose a significant proportion of patients. Shorter duration but more frequent IRM strategies are significantly more efficient than longer IRM durations. Clinical Trial Registration URL: Unique identifier: NCT00806689.