Send to

Choose Destination
Sleep. 2017 Jul 1;40(7). doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsx097.

Validation of Photoplethysmography-Based Sleep Staging Compared With Polysomnography in Healthy Middle-Aged Adults.

Author information

Philips Group Innovation Research, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
Department of Electrical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
Department of Industrial Design, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands.


Study Objectives:

To compare the accuracy of automatic sleep staging based on heart rate variability measured from photoplethysmography (PPG) combined with body movements measured with an accelerometer, with polysomnography (PSG) and actigraphy.


Using wrist-worn PPG to analyze heart rate variability and an accelerometer to measure body movements, sleep stages and sleep statistics were automatically computed from overnight recordings. Sleep-wake, 4-class (wake/N1 + N2/N3/REM) and 3-class (wake/NREM/REM) classifiers were trained on 135 simultaneously recorded PSG and PPG recordings of 101 healthy participants and validated on 80 recordings of 51 healthy middle-aged adults. Epoch-by-epoch agreement and sleep statistics were compared with actigraphy for a subset of the validation set.


The sleep-wake classifier obtained an epoch-by-epoch Cohen's κ between PPG and PSG sleep stages of 0.55 ± 0.14, sensitivity to wake of 58.2 ± 17.3%, and accuracy of 91.5 ± 5.1%. κ and sensitivity were significantly higher than with actigraphy (0.40 ± 0.15 and 45.5 ± 19.3%, respectively). The 3-class classifier achieved a κ of 0.46 ± 0.15 and accuracy of 72.9 ± 8.3%, and the 4-class classifier, a κ of 0.42 ± 0.12 and accuracy of 59.3 ± 8.5%.


The moderate epoch-by-epoch agreement and, in particular, the good agreement in terms of sleep statistics suggest that this technique is promising for long-term sleep monitoring, although more evidence is needed to understand whether it can complement PSG in clinical practice. It also offers an improvement in sleep/wake detection over actigraphy for healthy individuals, although this must be confirmed on a larger, clinical population.


Photoplethysmography; actigraphy; computerized analysis; heart rate variability; scoring; sleep tracker; statistics

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center