Correspondence between physiological and behavioural responses to vibratory stimuli during the sleep onset period: A quantitative electroencephalography analysis

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Abstract

Behavioural responses to auditory stimuli cease in late N1 or early N2 sleep. Yet, responsiveness to minimal intensity tactile stimuli and the correspondence with sleep microstructure during the sleep onset period is unknown. The aim of the present study was to investigate sleep microstructure using quantitative electroencephalography analysis when participants behaviourally responded to minimal intensity vibratory stimuli compared to when participants did not respond to stimuli during the sleep onset period. Eighteen participants wore a device that emitted vibratory stimuli to which individuals responded by tapping their index finger. A fast Fourier transform using multitaper-based estimation was applied to electroencephalography signals in 5-s epochs. Participants exhibited increases in higher frequencies 5 s before and immediately after the stimulus presentation when they responded to the stimulus compared to when they did not respond during all sleep stages. They also had greater delta power after stimulus onset when they did not respond to stimuli presented in N1 and N2 sleep compared to when they did respond. Participants responded to a significantly greater proportion of stimuli in wake than in N1 sleep (p <.001, d = 2.38), which was also significantly greater than the proportion of responses in N2 sleep (p <.001, d = 1.12). Participants showed wake-like sleep microstructure when they responded to vibratory stimuli and sleep-like microstructure when they did not respond during all sleep stages. The present study adds to the body of evidence characterising N1 sleep as a transitional period between sleep and wake containing rapid fluctuations between these two states.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13232
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Sleep Research
Early online date17 Nov 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • consumer sleep technology
  • electroencephalography
  • quantitative EEG
  • sleep onset period
  • sleep stages
  • wearable technology

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