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Sleep. 2000 Feb 1;23(1):81-5.

Sleep deprivation and phasic activity of REM sleep: independence of middle-ear muscle activity from rapid eye movements.

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Dipartimento di Psicologia-Università degli Studi di Roma La Sapienza, Italy.


In the recovery nights after total and partial sleep deprivation there is a reduction of rapid eye movements during REM sleep as compared to baseline nights; recent evidence provided by a selective SWS deprivation study also shows that the highest percentage of variance of this reduction is explained by SWS rebound. The present study assesses whether the reduction of rapid eye movements (REMs) during the recovery night after total sleep deprivation is paralleled by a decrease of middle-ear muscle activity (MEMA), another phasic muscle activity of REM sleep. Standard polysomnography, MEMA and REMs of nine subjects were recorded for three nights (one adaptation, one baseline, one recovery); baseline and recovery night were separated by a period of 40 hours of continuous wake. Results show that, in the recovery night, sleep deprivation was effective in determining an increase of SWS amount and of the sleep efficiency index, and a decrease of stage 1, stage 2, intra-sleep wake, and NREM latencies, without affecting REM duration and latency. However, MEMA frequency during REM sleep did not diminish during these nights as compared to baseline ones, while there was a clear effect of REM frequency reduction. Results indicate an independence of phasic events of REM sleep, suggesting that the inverse relation between recovery sleep after sleep deprivation and REM frequency is not paralleled by a concomitant variation in MEMA frequency.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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