Visualization of whole-night sleep EEG from 2-channel mobile recording device reveals distinct deep sleep stages with differential electrodermal activity

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Abstract

Brain activity during sleep is a powerful marker of overall health, but sleep lab testing is prohibitively expensive and only indicated for major sleep disorders. This report demonstrates that mobile 2-channel in-home electroencephalogram (EEG) recording devices provided sufficient information to detect and visualize sleep EEG. Displaying whole-night sleep EEG in a spectral display allowed for quick assessment of general sleep stability, cycle lengths, stage lengths, dominant frequencies and other indices of sleep quality. By visualizing spectral data down to 0.1 Hz, a differentiation emerged between slow-wave sleep with dominant frequency between 0.1–1 Hz or 1–3 Hz, but rarely both. Thus, we present here the new designations, Hi and Lo Deep sleep, according to the frequency range with dominant power. Simultaneously recorded electrodermal activity (EDA) was primarily associated with Lo Deep and very rarely with Hi Deep or any other stage. Therefore, Hi and Lo Deep sleep appear to be physiologically distinct states that may serve unique functions during sleep. We developed an algorithm to classify five stages (Awake, Light, Hi Deep, Lo Deep and rapid eye movement (REM)) using a Hidden Markov Model (HMM), model fitting with the expectation-maximization (EM) algorithm, and estimation of the most likely sleep state sequence by the Viterbi algorithm. The resulting automatically generated sleep hypnogram can help clinicians interpret the spectral display and help researchers computationally quantify sleep stages across participants. In conclusion, this study demonstrates the feasibility of in-home sleep EEG collection, a rapid and informative sleep report format, and novel deep sleep designations accounting for spectral and physiological differences.

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Onton, J. A., Kang, D. Y., & Coleman, T. P. (2016). Visualization of whole-night sleep EEG from 2-channel mobile recording device reveals distinct deep sleep stages with differential electrodermal activity. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 10(NOV2016). https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2016.00605

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