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Physiol Behav. 1999 Nov;67(5):697-703.

Food restriction alters the diurnal distribution of sleep in rats.

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Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, Casablanca, Morocco.


The purpose of the present study was to determine the effects of restricting food and water intake to the light period on sleep and brain temperature (Tbr). Sprague-Dawley male rats were anesthetized and provided with electrodes and thermistors for electroencephalographic (EEG) and Tbr recordings. Baseline recordings were performed after a 3-week recovery period. After baseline recordings, access to food and water was restricted (FWR) to the light period for 29 days. During FWR, the diurnal distribution of rapid-eye-movement sleep (REMS) and Tbr were reversed, while the distribution of non-REMS (NREMS) between the dark and light periods was attenuated. Daily food and water intake, body weight, and the diurnal distribution of EEG slow-wave activity within NREMS remained unchanged. In a separate study, sham-operated and pinealectomized rats were studied in a similar manner. The sleep responses of pinealectomized and sham-operated rats to FWR were similar. Further, FWR did not affect melatonin levels in the sham-operated rats, thereby suggesting that the pineal gland does not mediate the effects of FWR on sleep.

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