An accurate home sleep study to assess electroencephalography (EEG)-based sleep stages and EEG power would be advantageous for both clinical and research purposes, such as for longitudinal studies measuring changes in sleep stages over time. The purpose of this study was to compare sleep scoring of a single-channel EEG recorded simultaneously on the forehead against attended polysomnography. Participants were recruited from both a clinical sleep centre and a longitudinal research study investigating cognitively normal ageing and Alzheimer's disease. Analysis for overall epoch-by-epoch agreement found strong and substantial agreement between the single-channel EEG compared to polysomnography (κ = 0.67). Slow wave activity in the frontal regions was also similar when comparing the single-channel EEG device to polysomnography. As expected, Stage N1 showed poor agreement (sensitivity 0.2) due to lack of occipital electrodes. Other sleep parameters, such as sleep latency and rapid eye movement (REM) onset latency, had decreased agreement. Participants with disrupted sleep consolidation, such as from obstructive sleep apnea, also had poor agreement. We suspect that disagreement in sleep parameters between the single-channel EEG and polysomnography is due partially to altered waveform morphology and/or poorer signal quality in the single-channel derivation. Our results show that single-channel EEG provides comparable results to polysomnography in assessing REM, combined Stages N2 and N3 sleep and several other parameters, including frontal slow wave activity. The data establish that single-channel EEG can be a useful research tool.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-635
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Sleep Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • ambulatory
  • inter-rater agreement
  • sleep stage scoring


Dive into the research topics of 'Comparison of a single-channel EEG sleep study to polysomnography'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this