Sleep Med Psychophysiol.  2007 Jun;14(1):42-48.

Detrended Fluctuation Analysis on Sleep EEG of Healthy Subjects

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Eulji University School of Medicine, and Division of Sleep Study, Department of Neuropsychiatry, Eulji General Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Seoul National University College of Medicine, and Center for Sleep and Chronobiology and Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.


INTRODUCTION: Detrended fluctuation analysis (DFA) is used as a way of studying nonlinearity of EEG. In this study, DFA is applied on sleep EEG of normal subjects to look into its nonlinearity in terms of EEG channels and sleep stages. METHOD: Twelve healthy young subjects (age: 23.8+/-2.5 years old, male:female=7:5) have undergone nocturnal polysomnography (nPSG). EEG from nPSG was classified in terms of its channels and sleep stages and was analyzed by DFA. Scaling exponents (SEs) yielded by DFA were compared using linear mixed model analysis.
Scaling exponents (SEs) of sleep EEG were distributed around 1 showing long term temporal correlation and self-similarity. SE of C3 channel was bigger than that of O1 channel. As sleep stage progressed from stage 1 to slow wave sleep, SE increased accordingly. SE of stage REM sleep did not show significant difference when compared with that of stage 1 sleep.
SEs of Normal sleep EEG showed nonlinear characteristic with scale-free fluctuation, long-range temporal correlation, self-similarity and self-organized criticality. SE from DFA differentiated sleep stages and EEG channels. It can be a useful tool in the research with sleep EEG.


Detrended fluctuation analysis; Sleep EEG; Non-linear analysis

MeSH Terms

Sleep Stages
Sleep, REM
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