Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : Previous studies in animals and humans have reported correlations between the durations of rapid eye movement sleep (REMS) episodes and immediately preceding or subsequent non-REMS (NREMS) episodes. The relationship between these two types of sleep is a crucial component in understanding the regulation and neurophysiology of ultradian alternations that occur during sleep. Although the present study replicated previous studies, we also measured NREMS in terms of spectral power Delta and Ultra-Slow bands in addition to duration in examining correlations. The spectral power Delta band, also known as slow-wave activity, measures sleep quantity and is believed to reflect sleep physiology better than mere episode durations. The Ultra-Slow spectral power band was analyzed in parallel. Healthy human participants of both sexes (n = 26, age range 15-45 yr, n = 12 female) were carefully selected to participate in two consecutive series of home polysomnograms performed after 2 nights of habituation to the equipment. In the analyses, REMS episode durations (minutes) were compared with immediately preceding and immediately subsequent NREMS episodes (Delta and Ultra-Slow power) in each sleep cycle. REMS episode duration was more strongly correlated with preceding NREMS episodes than with subsequent NREMS episodes. However, in most cases, no correlations were observed in either direction. One ultradian sleep regulation hypothesis, which is based on stronger correlations between REMS and subsequent NREMS episode durations, holds that the main purpose of REMS is to reactivate NREMS during each sleep cycle. The present results do not support that hypothesis. © 2013 the American Physiological Society.