Effect of sleep deprivation on sleep and EEG power spectra in the rat

Behav Brain Res. 1984 Dec;14(3):171-82. doi: 10.1016/0166-4328(84)90186-4.


EEG power spectra of the rat were computed for consecutive 4-s epochs of the daily light period and matched with the scores of the vigilance states. Sleep was characterized by a progressive decline of low frequency spectral values (i.e. slow wave activity) in non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep, and a progressive increase in the amount of REM sleep. During recovery from 24-h total sleep deprivation (TSD) the following changes were observed: an increase of slow wave activity in non REM sleep with a persisting declining trend; an enhancement of theta activity (7.25-10.0 Hz) both in REM sleep and waking; a decrease of non-REM sleep and an increase of REM sleep. In addition, a slow wave EEG pattern prevailed in the awake and behaving animal during the initial recovery period. In selective sleep deprivation paradigms, either REM sleep or slow wave activity in non-REM sleep was prevented during a 2-h period following upon 24-h TSD. During both procedures, non-REM sleep spectra in the lowest frequency band showed no increase. There was no evidence for a further enhancement of slow wave activity after its selective deprivation. The results indicate that: (1) slow wave activity in non-REM sleep and theta activity in REM sleep may reflect sleep intensity; and (2) REM sleep and active waking, the two states with dominant theta activity, may be functionally related.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arousal / physiology
  • Electroencephalography*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Sleep Deprivation / physiology*
  • Sleep Stages / physiology
  • Sleep, REM / physiology