Sleep disturbances, including insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness, are highly prevalent in patients with ischemic stroke (IS), which severely impacts recovery and rehabilitation efforts. However, how IS induces sleep disturbances is unclear. Three experiments were performed on middle-aged C57BL/6J mice, instrumented with sleep recording electrodes and/or subjected to 1 h of middle cerebral artery (MCAO; Stroke group) or sham (Sham group) occlusion to induce IS. After 48 h of reperfusion (a) experiment 1 verified sensorimotor deficit (using Garcia scale) and infarction (using TTC staining) in this mouse model; (b) experiment 2 examined the effects of IS on the quality (sleep latency and NREM delta power) and quantity (duration) of sleep; and (c) experiment 3 determined the effects of IS on sleep homeostasis using sleep deprivation (SD) and recovery sleep (RS) paradigm. Stroke mice display (a) a significant correlation between sensorimotor deficit and cerebral infarction; (b) insomnia-like symptoms (increased sleep latency, reduced NREM duration and delta power) during the light (inactive) period and daytime sleepiness-like symptoms during the dark (active) period mimicking sleep in IS patients; and (c) impairments in the markers of sleep pressure (during SD) and sleep dissipation (during RS). Our results suggest that IS disrupts sleep homeostasis to cause sleep disturbances.
Keywords: MCAO; delta; insomnia; mice; middle cerebral artery occlusion; sleep homeostasis; stroke; theta.