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Behav Brain Res. 2002 Jan 22;128(2):129-38.

Sleep and wakefulness in the southern sea lion.

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  • 1Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences, 33 Leninsky Prospect, 117071 Moscow, Russia.


We recorded an electroencephalogram from the two hemispheres, a neck musculature electromyogram, an electrooculogram, and respiratory acts during sleep and wakefulness on land in three 1-year-old sea lion females for 3 or 4 consecutive days. On average active wakefulness (AW) occupied 20.4+/-2.0% of the 24-h period; quiet wakefulness (QW) 54.9+/-2.5%; slow wave sleep (SWS) 15.0+/-2.5% and paradoxical sleep (PS) 9.7+/-2.0%. Between 30 and 50% (average 39.1+/-3.4%) of total sleep time was spent in PS. From 8 to 31 episodes of PS were recorded per day (average 17+/-6 per day), with the longest episode lasting 20 min (average 5.6+/-0.5 min). Episodes of interhemispheric EEG asymmetry accounted for 5.5+/-1.3% of total SWS time. Respiratory pauses in these animals varied in QW between 4 and 36 s (average 15.7+/-0.4 s), in SWS between 11 and 37 s (20.9+/-0.6 s) and in PS between 2 and 69 s (15.0+/-1.5 s). AW, QW, SWS and PS were approximately equally distributed between light (07:00-19:00) and dark time (19:00-07:00). The low amount of SWS with interhemispheric EEG asymmetry, the high proportion of PS in total sleep time and the nearly even distribution of sleep and wakefulness over the 24-h period could be both species-specific features and/or ontogenetic characteristics of the animals studied.

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