REM sleep related increase in brain temperature: a physiologic problem

Arch Ital Biol. 2007 Jan;145(1):13-21.


The roles of metabolic heat production, arterial blood flow and temperature in the genesis of the brain temperature increase related to REM sleep occurrence in several mammalian species are discussed on the basis of available experimental evidence. The experimental data show that only changes in arterial blood flow and temperature consistently underlie the rise in brain temperature in presence (cat) or absence (rabbit) of the carotid rete. The alteration of cardiovascular regulation in REM sleep is the remote cause of such rise. The proximate causes are decrease in carotid blood supply and increase in vertebral blood supply to the brain and related depression of systemic and selective brain cooling.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Temperature / physiology*
  • Body Temperature Regulation / physiology*
  • Brain / blood supply
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology*
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology
  • Circle of Willis / anatomy & histology
  • Circle of Willis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hypothalamus / blood supply
  • Hypothalamus / physiology
  • Sleep, REM / physiology*
  • Species Specificity