Relationship between electroencephalogram slow-wave magnitude and heart rate variability during sleep in humans

Cheryl C H Yang, Chi Wan Lai, Hsien Yong Lai, Terry B J Kuo

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86 Citations (Scopus)


To explore whether depth of sleep is related to changes in autonomic control, continuous power-spectral analysis of the electroencephalogram (EEG) and heart rate variability (HRV) was performed in ten normal subjects during nocturnal sleep. Quiet sleep (QS) was associated with an increase in high-frequency power (HF) of HRV (0.15-0.4 Hz) but a decrease in low-frequency power (LF) (0.04-0.15 Hz) to HF ratio (LF/HF) compared with awakening. During QS, LF/HF was significantly and negatively correlated with delta power of EEG (0.5-4.0 Hz), whereas mean R-R interval and HF were not. We conclude that during QS, cardiac sympathetic regulation is negatively related to the depth of sleep, although vagal regulation is not. Our methodology offers a quantitative analysis to study the interaction between cerebral cortical and autonomic functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-216
Number of pages4
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 30 2002
Externally publishedYes



  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Electroencephalogram
  • Heart rate variability
  • Parasympathetic activity
  • Power-spectral analysis
  • Sleep
  • Slow wave
  • Sympathetic activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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