Detecting rapid eye movement sleep using a single EEG signal channel

Nan Hung Lin, Chung Yao Hsu, Yuxi Luo, Mark L. Nagurka, Jia Li Sung, Chih Yuan Hong, Chen Wen Yen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Sleep stage scoring is generally determined in a polysomnographic (PSG) study where technologists use electroencephalogram (EEG), electromyogram (EMG), and electrooculogram (EOG) signals to determine the sleep stages. Such a process is time consuming and labor intensive. To reduce the workload and to improve the sleep stage scoring performance of sleep experts, this paper introduces an intelligent rapid eye movement (REM) sleep detection method that requires only a single EEG channel. The proposed approach distinguishes itself from previous automatic sleep staging methods by introducing two sets of auxiliary features to help resolve the difficulties caused by interpersonal EEG signal differences. In addition to adopting conventional time and frequency domain features, two empirical rules are introduced to enhance REM detection performance based on sleep being a continuous process. The approach was tested with 779,661 epochs obtained from 947 overnight PSG studies. The REM sleep detection results show a kappa coefficient at 0.752, an accuracy level of 0.930, a sensitivity score of 0.814, and a positive predictive value of 0.775. The results also show that the performance of the approach varies with the ratio of REM sleep and the severity of sleep apnea of the subjects. The experimental results also show that it is possible to improve the performance of an automatic sleep staging method by tailoring it to subgroups of persons that have similar sleep architecture and clinical characteristics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-227
Number of pages8
JournalExpert Systems with Applications
StatePublished - 30 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Automatic sleep staging
  • Electroencephalography
  • Machine learning
  • Rapid eye movement sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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