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The goal of nsrr is to allow users to access data from the National Sleep Research Resource (’NSRR’) (https://sleepdata.org/) through an R interface.

Why R? Many packages in R can read and process accelerometry, such as the GGIR, ActivityIndex, and accelerometry; other packages such as edfReader can read in EDF data for polysomnography data. Also, the xml2 package can easily read in XML annotations into R. We believe the interplay with these packages, amongst others, allow for a flexible framework to download, process, and visualize data. The nsrr package is simply the entry point into navigating the files available and downloading the data.


You can install the released version of nsrr from CRAN with:



To retrieve your NSRR token, go to https://sleepdata.org/dashboard, and sign in. This token will allow you access to any data sets you have requested access to. If you do not have access, then it will allow you to download files that are publicly available.

Set the token by adding this to your ~/.Renviron file:


The token is accessible via token = Sys.getenv("NSRR_TOKEN"). Each nsrr function also has the argument token to pass through if you do not wish to set it.

To determine if you are authenticated, you can use:

[1] TRUE

[1] "muschellij2"

[1] ""



[1] "muschellij2@gmail.com"


NSRR data sets

Here is how you can access the NSRR datasets list:

df = nsrr_datasets()

NSRR data set files

Here we first get a list of the files in the datasets sub-directory from the shhs data set:

df = nsrr_dataset_files("shhs", path = "datasets")
  dataset                         full_path    folder
1    shhs                  datasets/archive datasets/
2    shhs    datasets/eeg-spectral-analysis datasets/
3    shhs             datasets/hrv-analysis datasets/
4    shhs             datasets/CHANGELOG.md datasets/
5    shhs           datasets/KNOWNISSUES.md datasets/
6    shhs datasets/shhs1-dataset-0.14.0.csv datasets/
                 file_name is_file file_size
1                  archive   FALSE         0
2    eeg-spectral-analysis   FALSE         0
3             hrv-analysis   FALSE         0
4             CHANGELOG.md    TRUE     10735
5           KNOWNISSUES.md    TRUE     11421
6 shhs1-dataset-0.14.0.csv    TRUE  24322962
                 file_checksum_md5 archived
1                             <NA>    FALSE
2                             <NA>    FALSE
3                             <NA>    FALSE
4 d791744c06a1ed92bdc0114c27b3bc92    FALSE
5 8598129123baa60e16977dc24aa780af    FALSE
6 3f26d37ec97e2bc88776850a31715398    FALSE

Downloading NSRR data set files

We can then download the CHANGELOG.md file as it’s publicly accessible.

url = nsrr_download_url("shhs", path = "datasets/CHANGELOG.md")
# print URL
dl = nsrr_download_file("shhs", path = "datasets/CHANGELOG.md")
[1] "/var/folders/1s/wrtqcpxn685_zk570bnx9_rr0000gr/T//RtmpobAxbi/file8ea84b43a39b.md"
cat(head(readLines(dl$outfile)), sep = "\n")
## 0.14.0 (May 29, 2019)

- Re-add OXIMET51 variable to SHHS1 dataset
- Add ESS_INTERIM variable; computed Epworth score for Interim Follow-up Visit (range 0-24)
- The CSV datasets generated from a SAS export are located here:
  - `\\rfawin\bwh-sleepepi-shhs\nsrr-prep\_releases\0.14.0\`

Listing All NSRR data set files

To list all the files, recursively, you would run:


but it may take some time.

EDF files

The edfReader can read in EDF fields for polysomnography data. Work in Progress - need access to EDF data.

files = nsrr_dataset_files("shhs", path= "polysomnography/edfs/shhs1")
dl = nsrr_download_file("shhs", path = "polysomnography/edfs/shhs1/shhs1-200001.edf")