Dec 22, 2019

The European starling (Sturnus vulgaris) shows signs of NREM sleep homeostasis but has very little REM sleep and no REM sleep homeostasis

Sjoerd J van HasseltPeter Meerlo


Most of our knowledge about the regulation and function of sleep is based on studies in a restricted number of mammalian species, particularly nocturnal rodents. Hence, there is still much to learn from comparative studies in other species. Birds are interesting because they appear to share key aspects of sleep with mammals, including the presence of two different forms of sleep, i.e. NREM and REM sleep. We examined sleep architecture and sleep homeostasis in the European starling, using miniature data loggers for EEG recordings. Under controlled laboratory conditions with a 12:12h light-dark cycle, the birds displayed a pronounced daily rhythm in sleep and wakefulness with most sleep occurring during the dark phase. Sleep mainly consisted of NREM sleep. In fact, the amount of REM sleep added up to only 1~2% of total sleep time. Animals were subjected to 4h or 8h sleep deprivation to assess sleep homeostatic responses. Sleep deprivation induced changes in subsequent NREM sleep EEG spectral qualities for several hours, with increased spectral power from 1.17 Hz up to at least 25 Hz. In contrast, power below 1.17 Hz was decreased after sleep deprivation. Sleep deprivation also resulted in a small compensatory increase in NREM sle...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

REM Sleep Deprivation
Signs and Symptoms
Sleep, Slow-Wave
Comparative Study Research

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