Near-infrared (NIR) remote photoplethysmography (PPG) promises attractive applications in darkness, as it involves unobtrusive, invisible light. However, since the PPG strength (AC/DC) is much lower in the NIR spectrum than in the RGB spectrum, robust vital signs monitoring is more challenging. In this paper, we propose a new PPG-extraction method, DIScriminative signature based extraction (DIS), to significantly improve the pulse-rate measurement in NIR. Our core idea is to use both the color signals containing blood absorption variations and additional disturbance signals as input for PPG extraction. By defining a discriminative signature, we use one-step least-squares regression (joint optimization) to retrieve the pulsatile component from color signals and suppress disturbance signals simultaneously. A large-scale lab experiment, recorded in NIR with heavy body motions, shows the significant improvement of DIS over the state-of-the-art method, whereas its principle is simple and generally applicable.