An Analysis of Electrocardiograms for Instantaneous Sleep Potential Determination

Oluwatosin Ogundare1, *
1 Department of Industrial, Manufacturing and Systems Engineering, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, USA

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Creative Commons License
© 2019 Ogundare.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Industrial, Manufacturing and Systems Engineering, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, USA; Tel: +1-310-999-5809;



The use of electrocardiograms to establish a relationship between the electrical activity of the heart and the intricacies of sleep is explored to propose a method to predict the time before sleep onset.

Recorded Electrocardiograms (ECG) from the National Sleep Research Resource (NSRR) database are analyzed to extract the frequency domain characteristics and used to develop statistical learning models to predict the time before sleep onset. This is known as Time to Sleep (TTS) and is presented as a measure of wakefulness known as Sleep Potential (SP).


Recorded ECG signals that encapsulate a progression from stage 0 (Awake) to stage 5 are sampled at 125 Hz. The Heart Rate Variability (HRV) information is derived by extracting a sequence of R peaks from the QRS complexes. A Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) of the RR tachogram ensues and features are extracted and used to train the multi-layer neural network.


A comparison of the measured vs. predicted values is presented to evaluate the performance of the Deep Neural Network (DNN) in predicting Sleep Potential (SP) values (time before sleep onset) from different points in the ECG derived power spectrum.


The research demonstrates a way to generate information on sleep using ECG data which can be provided in real-time from various ambulatory ECG devices. Sleep Potential (SP) values can be very useful in documenting sleep history for better diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders. It can also be used in the prevention of sleep-related accidents, especially car wrecks.

Keywords: Sleep data analysis, Sleep prediction, Neural Networks, Support Vector Machines, Sleep disorders, Sleep Potential.