Polygraphic Recording Procedure for Measuring Sleep in Mice

J Vis Exp. 2016 Jan 25;(107):e53678. doi: 10.3791/53678.


Recording of the epidural electroencephalogram (EEG) and electromyogram (EMG) in small animals, like mice and rats, has been pivotal to study the homeodynamics and circuitry of sleep-wake regulation. In many laboratories, a cable-based sleep recording system is used to monitor the EEG and EMG in freely behaving mice in combination with computer software for automatic scoring of the vigilance states on the basis of power spectrum analysis of EEG data. A description of this system is detailed herein. Steel screws are implanted over the frontal cortical area and the parietal area of 1 hemisphere for monitoring EEG signals. In addition, EMG activity is monitored by the bilateral placement of wires in both neck muscles. Non-rapid eye movement (Non-REM; NREM) sleep is characterized by large, slow brain waves with delta activity below 4 Hz in the EEG, whereas a shift from low-frequency delta activity to a rapid low-voltage EEG in the theta range between 6 and 10 Hz can be observed at the transition from NREM to REM sleep. By contrast, wakefulness is identified by low- to moderate-voltage brain waves in the EEG trace and significant EMG activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Electroencephalography / methods*
  • Electromyography / methods*
  • Fourier Analysis
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Rats
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Sleep, REM / physiology
  • Wakefulness / physiology