Detecting slow wave sleep using a single EEG signal channel

Bo Lin Su, Yuxi Luo, Chih Yuan Hong, Mark L. Nagurka, Chen Wen Yen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


BackgroundIn addition to the cost and complexity of processing multiple signal channels, manual sleep staging is also tedious, time consuming, and error-prone. The aim of this paper is to propose an automatic slow wave sleep (SWS) detection method that uses only one channel of the electroencephalography (EEG) signal. New MethodThe proposed approach distinguishes itself from previous automatic sleep staging methods by using three specially designed feature groups. The first feature group characterizes the waveform pattern of the EEG signal. The remaining two feature groups are developed to resolve the difficulties caused by interpersonal EEG signal differences. Results and comparison with existing methodsThe proposed approach was tested with 1,003 subjects, and the SWS detection results show kappa coefficient at 0.66, an accuracy level of 0.973, a sensitivity score of 0.644 and a positive predictive value of 0.709. By excluding sleep apnea patients and persons whose age is older than 55, the SWS detection results improved to kappa coefficient, 0.76; accuracy, 0.963; sensitivity, 0.758; and positive predictive value, 0.812. ConclusionsWith newly developed signal features, this study proposed and tested a single-channel EEG-based SWS detection method. The effectiveness of the proposed approach was demonstrated by applying it to detect the SWS of 1003 subjects. Our test results show that a low SWS ratio and sleep apnea can degrade the performance of SWS detection. The results also show that a large and accurately staged sleep dataset is of great importance when developing automatic sleep staging methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-52
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Automatic sleep staging
  • Electroencephalography
  • Sleep apnea
  • Slow wave sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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