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Sleep deprivation in the rat at different ambient temperatures: effect on sleep, EEG spectra and brain temperature.

I. Tobler, P. Franken, B. Gao, K. Jaggi, A. A. Borbely


To investigate the relationship between thermoregulation and sleep regulation, rats were sleep-deprived for 3 hours at two different ambient temperatures. Sleep deprivations (SD) were performed at 23 degrees C (SD-23) and at 32 degrees C (SD-32) in the beginning of the 12-h light period in animals chronically implanted with ECoG and EMG electrodes, and with epidural and hypothalamic thermistors. SD-32 enhanced cerebral temperature more than SD-23 at both brain sites. The SD-induced hyperthermia was followed by a fall of brain temperature below baseline. During recovery from either SD procedure, waking was reduced and sleep continuity increased. REM sleep was increased after SD-32. EEG slow-wave activity (spectral power density in the 0.75-4.0 Hz band) exceeded the baseline level in the first 3-h interval of recovery; however, the effects of SD-23 and SD-32 did not differ. In the same time interval, power density in the 1.25-1.5 Hz bin as well as in some bins in the theta and alpha band was higher after SD-32 than after SD-23. The increase in hypothalamic temperature during SD did not correlate with the increase in SWA during recovery. It is concluded that even a brief SD has major repercussions on recovery sleep whereas the extent of cerebral hyperthermia during SD is only a minor factor.

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