Assessment of the Cardiac Response to Sleep Arousal

Sobhan Salari Shahrbabaki, Mathias Baumert

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Sleep arousal or transient unconscious wakefulness is a part of normal sleep. However, once its frequency increases, it may disturb the sleep and make it fragmented. The objective of this study is to assess the effect of sleep arousals on cardiovascular function. We investigated cardiac responses to sleep arousal in a large sample comprising 2656 older men. We quantified beat-to-beat QT and RR time intervals on ECG 15 s prior and following to arousal onset. Obtained results show that in more than three-quarters of the men, the average RR interval shortened during arousal compared to pre-and post-arousal intervals, while less than half of the men experienced average QT interval shortening during arousals. The QT and RR variability increased significantly during arousal, where RR variability changes were more prominent than QT variability changes. The QT variability index was weakly correlated with the apnea–hypopnea index and arousal index. In conclusion, arousal episodes trigger cardiovascular function, and their effect can be measured and quantified through cardiac QT and RR time intervals.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication6th Kuala Lumpur International Conference on Biomedical Engineering 2021
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of BioMed2021, July 28–29, 2021
EditorsJuliana Usman, Yih Miin Liew, Mohd Yazed Ahmad, Fatimah Ibrahim
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9783030907242
ISBN (Print)9783030907235
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2022
Externally publishedYes
Event6th Kuala Lumpur International Conference on Biomedical Engineering, BioMed 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: 28 Jul 202129 Jul 2021

Publication series

NameIFMBE Proceedings
ISSN (Print)1680-0737
ISSN (Electronic)1433-9277


Conference6th Kuala Lumpur International Conference on Biomedical Engineering, BioMed 2021
CityVirtual, Online


  • Cardiac time interval
  • Heart rate
  • Polysomnography
  • QT variability
  • Sleep arousal


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