- L., A. Malhotra, R. B. Fogel, J. Trinder, J.
Sleep stage detection is needed in many sleep studies and clinical assessments. Generally, sleep stages are identified using spectral analysis of electrocephologram (EEG) and electrooculogram (EOG) signals. This study, for the first time, has investigated the feasibility of detecting sleep stages using tracheal breathing sounds, and whether the change of breathing sounds due to sleeping stage differs at different periods of sleeping time; the motivation was seeking an alternative technique for sleep stage identification. The tracheal breathing sounds of 12 individuals, who were referred for full overnight polysomnography (PSG) assessment, were recorded using a microphone placed over the suprasternal notch, and analyzed using higher order statistical analysis. Five noise-and-snore-free breathing cycles from wakefulness, REM and Stage II of sleep were selected from each subject for analysis. Data of the REM and Stage II were selected from beginning, middle and close to end of sleeping time. Hurst exponent was calculated from the bispectra of the inspiratory sounds of each subject at each sleeping stage in different periods of sleeping time. The participants’ sleep stage were determined by sleep lab technologists during the PSG study using EEG and EOG signals. The results show separate and non-overlapping clusters for wakefulness, REM and Stage II for each subject. Thus, using a simple linear classifier, we were able to classify REM and Stage II of each subject with 100% accuracy. In addition, the results show that the same pattern existed as long as the REM and Stage II segments were close (less than 3 h) to each other in terms of time.