Pulse rate variability (PRV), derived from Laser Doppler flowmetry (LDF) or photoplethysmography, has recently become widely used for sleep state assessment, although it cannot identify all the sleep stages. Peripheral blood flow (BF), also estimated by LDF, may be modulated by sleep stages; however, few studies have explored its potential for assessing sleep state. Thus, we aimed to investigate whether peripheral BF could provide information about sleep stages, and thus improve sleep state assessment. We performed electrocardiography and simultaneously recorded BF signals by LDF from the right-index finger and ear concha of 45 healthy participants (13 women; mean age, 22.5 ± 3.4 years) during one night of polysomnographic recording. Time- and frequency-domain parameters of peripheral BF, and time-domain, frequency-domain, and non-linear indices of PRV and heart rate variability (HRV) were calculated. Finger-BF parameters in the time and frequency domains provided information about different sleep stages, some of which (such as the difference between N1 and rapid eye movement sleep) were not revealed by finger-PRV. In addition, finger-PRV patterns and HRV patterns were similar for most parameters. Further, both finger- and ear-BF results showed 0.2–0.3 Hz oscillations that varied with sleep stages, with a significant increase in N3, suggesting a modulation of respiration within this frequency band. These results showed that peripheral BF could provide information for different sleep stages, some of which was complementary to the information provided by PRV. Furthermore, the combination of peripheral BF and PRV may be more advantageous than HRV alone in assessing sleep states and related autonomic nervous activity.

Direct Link: https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2023.1040425

Journal: Frontiers in Physiology. 2023 Jan 26;14:81

Keywords: autonomic nervous activity, blood flow, heart rate variability, pulse rate variability, respiration, Sleep, Sleep stages,

Applications: Sleep,

CamNtech Reference: M23002

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