Sleep deprivation in rats: effects on EEG power spectra, vigilance states, and cortical temperature

Am J Physiol. 1991 Jul;261(1 Pt 2):R198-208. doi: 10.1152/ajpregu.1991.261.1.R198.


Vigilance states, electroencephalogram (EEG) power spectra (0.25-25.0 Hz), and cortical temperature (TCRT) of 10 rats were obtained during a baseline day, a 24-h sleep deprivation (SD) period, and 2 days of recovery (recoveries 1 and 2). EEG power density in waking gradually increased in most frequencies during the SD period. Non-rapid-eye-movement (NREM) sleep was enhanced on both recovery days, and rapid-eye-movement sleep was enhanced only on recovery 1. In the initial 4 h of recovery 1, EEG slow-wave activity (SWA; mean power density 0.75-4.0 Hz) in NREM sleep was elevated relative to baseline, and the number of brief awakenings (nBA) was reduced. In the dark period of recovery 1 and the light period of recovery 2, SWA was below baseline, and nBA was increased. During the entire recovery period, SWA and nBA, both expressed as deviation from baseline values, were negatively correlated. During the SD period, TCRT was above baseline, and in the initial 16 h of recovery 1 it was below baseline. Whereas TCRT was negatively correlated with NREM sleep, no significant correlation was found between TCRT and SWA within NREM sleep. It is concluded that SD causes a short-lasting intensification of sleep, as indicated by the enhanced SWA and the reduced nBA, and a long-lasting increase in sleep duration. The different time courses of SWA and TCRT suggest that variations in NREM sleep intensity are not directly related to changes in TCRT.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arousal*
  • Body Temperature*
  • Cerebral Cortex / physiology*
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Sleep Deprivation / physiology*
  • Sleep Stages / physiology