Ventilation during early and late rapid-eye-movement sleep in normal humans

J Appl Physiol (1985). 1991 Oct;71(4):1201-15. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1991.71.4.1201.


Because successive rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep periods in the night are longer in duration and have more phasic events, ventilation during late REM sleep might be more affected than in earlier episodes. Despite the increase in eye movement density (EMD) in late REM sleep, average minute ventilation was, however, not reduced compared with that in early REM sleep. Decreases in rib cage motion (mean inspiratory flow of the rib cage) in association with increasing EMD were offset by increments in respiratory frequency. Apart from expiratory time, there were no significant changes in the slopes of the relationships between EMD and specific ventilatory components, from early to late REM sleep periods. However, there was an increase in the number of episodes when ventilation was reduced during late REM sleep. Changes in ventilatory pattern during late REM sleep are due to changes in the underlying nature of REM sleep. The ventilatory response during eye movements is, however, subject specific. Some subjects exhibit large decrements in mean inspiratory flow of the rib cage and increments in respiratory frequency during bursts of eye movement, whereas other individuals demonstrate only small changes in these ventilatory parameters.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electrooculography
  • Eye Movements / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Plethysmography
  • Respiratory Mechanics / physiology*
  • Sleep, REM / physiology*