Hermans began her research with the following question: ‘For how long do you have to sleep continuously in order to be aware that you have slept?’ She focused her research on people around the age of 60 and studied the EEG measurements of 20 test subjects with insomnia and 21 good sleepers. All subjects indicated, after one night’s sleep, how long they thought that they were awake the night before. “I then developed a model in which I investigated the influence of waking up during the first part of the night on the perception of the moment of falling asleep,” explains Hermans.
The researchers will test the developed model in a follow-up study which will involve 160 people of different ages who spent the night at the Kempenhaeghe Center for Sleep Medicine. This larger study should show, among other things, whether there is a difference between the elderly and the young and to what extent sleep misperception varies between people with insomnia.
PhD candidate Lieke Hermans carried out her research at the Department of Electrical Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology. Her supervisor, Sebastiaan Overeem, is a professor in the same department and also a doctor-somnologist at the Kempenhaeghe Center for Sleep Medicine.
This research is part of the Eindhoven MedTech Innovation Center (e/MTIC), a partnership between Catharina Ziekenhuis, Maxima Medisch Centrum, Kempenhaeghe Center for Epileptology and Sleep Medicine, Philips and TU/e.
Sleep EEG Characteristics Associated with Sleep Onset Misperception. Lieke Hermans, Tim Leufkens, Merel van Gilst, Tim Weysen, Marco Ross, Peter Anderer, Sebastiaan Overeem, Annemiek Vermeeren. Sleep Medicine. DOI: 10.1016/j.sleep.2019.01.031