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Sleep. 1980;2(4):377-89.

Distribution of REM sleep in entrained 24 hour and free-running sleep--wake cycles.

Abstract

One hundred thirty sleep episodes of 6 subjects, living on a natural 24 hr day, were compared with 116 sleep times of the same subjects living isolated from external time cues. The polygraphic sleep recordings were analyzed for the distribution of REM sleep under both conditions. Additionally, the relationship between body temperature and REM sleep was analyzed by comparing sleep episodes in which the temperature minimum occurred early in the sleep episode with those in which there was a late temperature minimum. The results show that there is more REM sleep in the beginning of sleep in sleep episodes of free-running rhythms as compared to sleep episodes of entrained 24 hr rhythms. This higher amount of REM sleep is due to a longer first REM episode and shorter first NREM episodes. The comparison of the sleep episodes that differ in the position of the temperature minimum shows similar differences, i.e., more REM sleep in the beginning of sleep episodes in which the temperature minimum occurs earlier as compared to episodes in which the temperature minimum occurs later. It was hypothesized that the amount of REM sleep depends on the phase relationship between sleep and the circadian temperature cycle. From this point of view, the difference in the distribution of REM sleep in the entrained 24 hr rhythm, on the one hand, and the free-running rhythm, on the other hand, can be explained by the different courses of body temperature during sleep. That only the first REM episode is influenced by circadian parameters may indicate an exceptional role for this REM episode in contrast to the following episodes.

PMID:
7403739
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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