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Estimation of Sleep Onset Latency Based on the Blood Pressure Regulatory Reflex Mechanism

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6 Author(s)
Da Woon Jung ; Interdisciplinary Program of Bioengineering, Graduate School, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea ; Su Hwan Hwang ; Gih Sung Chung ; Yu-Jin Lee
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Sleep onset latency (SOL) is an objective indicator of sleepiness and is being used clinically as a diagnostic tool for sleep deprivation. This study proposes a new and less intrusive approach to estimate SOL based on the blood pressure (BP) regulatory reflex mechanism. We hypothesized that the arterial baroreflex, one kind of reflex mechanism for BP regulation, maintains the toning-down effect sleep has on BP. The arterial baroreflex is strongly activated after the time of sleep onset in order to maintain the lowered BP by leading to an increase in heart beat interval (HBI). This observation suggests that the arterial baroreflex has a marked influence on the HBI control with the onset of sleep. As a result, a positive correlation is expected between fluctuations of BP and those of subsequent HBI after sleep onset. To investigate our hypothesis, we determined the relationship between BP and HBI using the R-J and R-R intervals measured from an electrocardiogram and a ballistocardiogram. We estimated SOL using the correlation coefficients corresponding to the relationship between fluctuations of the R-J interval and those of the subsequent R-R interval. The SOLs of ten healthy subjects [age (mean ± SD): 28.72 ± 3.21 years] were estimated using our proposed method and compared with the polysomnography data. The mean absolute error was 0.25 ± 0.35 min, corresponding to a half epoch (15 s) on average. We expect our method will be applicable as a nonintrusive and automatic SOL estimation system that does not require the use of electroencephalogram sensors.

Published in:

IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 3 )