Reading EDFs

I was tinkering my homemade machinery for tracking my sleep. I often break it in the process of improving it :-)
While I was tinkering my 10yo started asking questions (a ton of them) and while I was oversimplifying so she would not disappear at the first acronym from geek dad, it occurred to me that it is not common knowledge what you get out of traditional hospital devices normally used in a sleep study. DOH!
In a nutshell:
  • They attach around your body a ton of wires and often nostril connections to monitor your breathing patterns
  • There’s other hidden equipment into the room where you sleep that monitors other vitals
  • A technician monitors (or s/he supposed to…) you overnight and through a specific software marks (annotate) your streams of data coming from the equipment
That type of gathered data is called EDF. There are an EU and US format, they don’t have too many differences from each other. Those types of files can be read with an EDT viewer, there are a few available and plenty free of charge. I listed them below. 
I remember that when I needed one, I wanted one for Mac OS X my favorite platform for experimentations and I ran into the issue that I couldn’t find one already compiled (ready to use). All of them listed above offer source code not quite easy to compile if you haven’t done it before. If you end up in a situation like mine and need one to quickly get up and running you can use this link to download it. It’s a compiled version of Teuniz (awesome implementation). Keep in mind that based on the century when you use the link you might get a bit of wine aged version. I successfully tested and used it in Yosemite in 2015.
That’s what one of the fancy ones looks like.
Happy sleep streams snooping :-)


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