On April 1, 2014, the National Sleep Research Resource (NSRR) was opened to the scientific community at Sleepdata.org. Funded by an NHLBI R24 Resource grant, the NSRR offers free Web access to large collections of de-identified physiological signals and clinical data elements collected in well-characterized cohorts and clinical trials to support research on risk factors and outcomes of sleep disorders.

The initial data resource available is from the Sleep Heart Health Study. Over time, many more studies will be added, reaching a minimum target of 50,000 studies over the next few years. By providing the research community access to large data sets, the NSRR hopes to accelerate research to discover predictive bio-physiological signals for disease incidence and progression and to facilitate science that addresses critical questions regarding susceptibility to sleep disorders and subgroup differences not possible using data from single cohorts.

Using the tools provided, the researcher can search across thousands of data elements, identify those data of most relevance for given needs, explore the statistical distributions of each, and download the data as CSV files. Data include demographic, physiological, clinical, and other data types collected by each study. Physiologic signals from overnight polysomnograms are available by downloading European Data Format files. The researcher can download summary measures of standard, scored sleep data. Specific scored annotations can be accessed by downloading XML files, signals with their annotations can be viewed offline using the EDF Viewer, and signal processing and data exploration tools are available on both the Sleepdata and PhysioNet websites.

The NSRR encourages interested researchers, educators, and trainees to join its user community as members. Members can contribute their own data and tools for sharing, provide information and feedback on ways to improve sleep and physiological signal data exchange and analysis, and offer ideas on how to make NSRR and other resources work best for the scientific community.