- This study proposes a novel method to assist the detection of the components that build up the Cyclic Alternating Pattern (CAP). CAP is a sleep phenomenon formed by consecutive sequences of activations (A1, A2, A3) and non-activations during nonREM sleep. The main importance of CAP evaluation is the possibility of defining the sleep process more accurately. Ten recordings from healthy and good sleepers were included in this study. The method is based on inferential statistics to define the initial and ending points of the CAP components based only on an initialization point given by the expert. The results show concordance up to 95%25 for A1, 85%25 for A2 and 60%25 for A3, together with an overestimation of 1.5 s in A1, 1.3 s in A2 and 0 s in A3. The total CAP rate presents a total underestimation of 7 min. Those results suggest that the method is able to accurately detect the initial and ending points of the activations, and may be helpful for the physicians by reducing the time dedicated to the manual inspection task. © 2012 IEEE.