Rapid fast-delta decay following prolonged wakefulness marks a phase of wake-inertia in NREM sleep

Nat Commun. 2020 Jun 19;11(1):3130. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-16915-0.


Sleep-wake driven changes in non-rapid-eye-movement sleep (NREM) sleep (NREMS) EEG delta (δ-)power are widely used as proxy for a sleep homeostatic process. Here, we noted frequency increases in δ-waves in sleep-deprived mice, prompting us to re-evaluate how slow-wave characteristics relate to prior sleep-wake history. We identified two classes of δ-waves; one responding to sleep deprivation with high initial power and fast, discontinuous decay during recovery sleep (δ2) and another unrelated to time-spent-awake with slow, linear decay (δ1). Reanalysis of previously published datasets demonstrates that δ-band heterogeneity after sleep deprivation is also present in human subjects. Similar to sleep deprivation, silencing of centromedial thalamus neurons boosted subsequent δ2-waves, specifically. δ2-dynamics paralleled that of temperature, muscle tone, heart rate, and neuronal ON-/OFF-state lengths, all reverting to characteristic NREMS levels within the first recovery hour. Thus, prolonged waking seems to necessitate a physiological recalibration before typical NREMS can be reinstated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Delta Rhythm / physiology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Sleep Deprivation / physiopathology*
  • Sleep, Slow-Wave / physiology*
  • Wakefulness / physiology*
  • Young Adult

Associated data

  • figshare/10.6084/m9.figshare.12245366