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Curr Biol. 2019 Jul 22;29(14):2351-2358.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2019.06.034. Epub 2019 Jul 11.

Restless REM Sleep Impedes Overnight Amygdala Adaptation.

Author information

1
Department of Sleep and Cognition, Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, an institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Meibergdreef 47, 1105 BA Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Centre for Integrated Research and Understanding of Sleep (CIRUS), Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, The University of Sydney, 431 Glebe Point Road, Sydney, NSW 2037, Australia.
2
Department of Sleep and Cognition, Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, an institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Meibergdreef 47, 1105 BA Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
3
Spinoza Centre for Neuroimaging, Meibergdreef 75, 1105 BK Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
4
Department of Education, Program Group Forensic Child and Youth Care, University of Amsterdam, Nieuwe Achtergracht 127, 1018 WS Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
5
Department of Sleep and Cognition, Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, an institute of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Meibergdreef 47, 1105 BA Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Department of Integrative Neurophysiology, Center for Neurogenomics and Cognitive Research, Amsterdam Neuroscience, VU University Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Amsterdam UMC, Vrije Universiteit, Psychiatry, Amsterdam Neuroscience, Oldenaller 1, 1081 HJ Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Electronic address: e.van.someren@nin.knaw.nl.

Abstract

Animal studies show that insufficient silencing of the locus coeruleus (LC) during REM sleep impairs sleep-related brain plasticity. Restless REM sleep, a characteristic of several psychiatric disorders, likely reflects insufficient LC silencing. We investigated whether endogenous REM sleep interruptions interfere with overnight reorganization of limbic circuits in human volunteers with a wide range of insomnia severity, from no insomnia complaints to fulfilling community-sample criteria for insomnia disorder. We induced a self-conscious emotion during two functional MRI sessions and recorded sleep EEG in between. Amygdala reactivity decreased overnight in proportion to the total duration of consolidated REM sleep. Restless REM sleep, in contrast, impeded overnight amygdala adaptation. Using targeted memory reactivation with odors tagged to the self-conscious emotional stimulus, we could experimentally enhance both the favorable effect of consolidated REM sleep and the unfavorable effect of restless REM sleep. The findings reveal a maladaptive type of sleep, providing a target for interventions in mental disorders characterized by restless REM sleep.

KEYWORDS:

REM sleep fragmentation; amygdala; memory reactivation; self-conscious emotions; spindles; transition to REM sleep

PMID:
31303489
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2019.06.034

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