The primary function of REM sleep

Bernhard, Mr. Andrew E. (2006) The primary function of REM sleep. [Preprint]

Full text available as:



In this paper, the physiological features associated with the different stages of REM sleep and with what information processing researchers have called “effort” and “arousal” are compared. It is suggested that tonic REM sleep and effort involve an increase in the metabolism of cerebral glycogen, and phasic REM sleep and arousal involve the transfer of glucose from the body to the brain. Both stages of REM sleep seem to elevate cerebral glucose levels and likely result in increased ATP generation in some part(s) of the brain. It is noted that the functioning of the hippocampus depends heavily on ATP, and that this part of the brain becomes especially active during REM sleep. From this, although many details remain to be clarified, it seems clear that the primary function of REM sleep is to re-energize the brain.

Item Type:Preprint
Keywords:REM Sleep Glycogen Glucose ATP Hippocampus Limbic System
Subjects:Neuroscience > Brain Imaging
Neuroscience > Neuropsychology
Neuroscience > Neuropsychiatry
Neuroscience > Neurology
Neuroscience > Neurophysiology
ID Code:5125
Deposited By: Bernhard, Mr. Andrew
Deposited On:05 Oct 2006
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:56

References in Article

Select the SEEK icon to attempt to find the referenced article. If it does not appear to be in cogprints you will be forwarded to the paracite service. Poorly formated references will probably not work.

Abrahams, V. C., & Hilton, S. M. (1964). The Role of Active Muscle Vasodilatation in the Alerting Stage of the Defence Reaction. J Physiol, 171, 189-202.

Anchors, J. M., & Burrows, B. L. (1983). Changes in brain glycogen during slow-wave sleep in the rat. J Neurochem, 41(5), 1498-1501.

Aserinsky, E. (1965). Periodic respiratory pattern occurring in conjunction with eye movements during sleep. Science, 150(697), 763-766.

Aserinsky, E., & Kleitman, N. (1953). Regularly occurring periods of eye motility, and concomitant phenomena, during sleep. Science, 118(3062), 273-274.

Benington, J. H., & Heller, H. C. (1995). Restoration of brain energy metabolism as the function of sleep. Prog Neurobiol, 45(4), 347-360.

Boiten, F., Sergeant, J., & Geuze, R. (1992). Event-related desynchronization: the effects of energetic and computational demands. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol, 82(4), 302-309.

Broughton, R. J., Poire, R., & Tassinari, C. A. (1965). The Electrodermogram (Tarchanoff Effect) During Sleep. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol, 18, 691-708.

Carskadon, M. A., & Dement, W. C. (2005). Normal Human Sleep Overview. In M. H. Kryger, T. Roth & W. C. Dement (Eds.), Principles and practice of sleep medicine (4th ed., pp. 13-23). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier/Saunders.

Coles, M. G. (1972). Cardiac and respiratory activity during visual search. J Exp Psychol, 96(2), 371-379.

Ekman, P. (2001). Telling lies : clues to deceit in the marketplace, politics, and marriage (3rd ed.). New York: W.W. Norton.

Frank, M. G. (2006). The Function of Sleep. In T. L. Lee-Chiong (Ed.), Sleep: A comprehensive handbook (pp. 45-48). Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.

Franken, P., Gip, P., Hagiwara, G., Ruby, N. F., & Heller, H. C. (2003). Changes in brain glycogen after sleep deprivation vary with genotype. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol, 285(2), R413-419.

Franzini, C. (2005). Cardiovascular Physiology: The Peripheral Circulation. In M. H. Kryger, T. Roth & W. C. Dement (Eds.), Principles and practice of sleep medicine (4th ed., pp. 203-212). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier/Saunders.

Franzini, C., Zoccoli, G., Cianci, T., & Lenzi, P. (1996). Sleep-Dependent Changes in Regional Circulations. News Physiol. Sci., 11, 274-280.

Granholm, E., Asarnow, R. F., Sarkin, A. J., & Dykes, K. L. (1996). Pupillary responses index cognitive resource limitations. Psychophysiology, 33(4), 457-461.

Green, J. D., & Arduini, A. A. (1954). Hippocampal electrical activity in arousal. J Neurophysiol, 17(6), 533-557.

Gruetter, R. (2003). Glycogen: the forgotten cerebral energy store. J Neurosci Res, 74(2), 179-183.

Heller, H. C. (2005). Temperature, Thermoregulation, and Sleep. In M. H. Kryger, T. Roth & W. C. Dement (Eds.), Principles and practice of sleep medicine (4th ed., pp. 292-304). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier/Saunders.

Herman, D. M., & Bassetti, C. L. (2002). Cerebral Circulation and Sleep. Sleep Med Rev, 6(6), 425-427.

Hess, E. H. (1965). Attitude and Pupil Size. Sci Am, 212, 46-54.

Hess, E. H., & Polt, J. M. (1964). Pupil Size in Relation to Mental Activity during Simple Problem-Solving. Science, 140, 1190-1192.

Inoue, K. (1998). ATP receptors for the protection of hippocampal functions. Jpn J Pharmacol, 78(4), 405-410.

Inoue, K., Koizumi, S., Ueno, S., Kita, A., & Tsuda, M. (1999). The functions of ATP receptors in the synaptic transmission in the hippocampus. Prog Brain Res, 120, 193-206.

Jung, R., & Kornmueller, A. E. (1938). Eine methodik der Abkitung lokalisierter Potentialschwankungen aus subcorticalen Hirngebieten. Arch für Psychiatrie und Nervenkrankheiten, 109, 1-30.

Kagan, J. (1965). Studies of Attention in the Human Infant. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 11, 95-122.

Kahneman, D. (1973). Attention and effort. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.,: Prentice-Hall.

Kemp, I. R., & Kaada, B. R. (1975). The relation of hippocampal theta activity to arousal, attentive behaviour and somato-motor movements in unrestrained cats. Brain Res, 95(2-3), 323-342.

Kramer, A., & Spinks, J. (1991). Capacity views of human information processing. In J. R. Jennings & M. G. H. Coles (Eds.), Handbook of cognitive psychophysiology: Central and autonomic nervous system approaches (pp. 179-250). New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Kushniruk, A., Rustenburg, J., & Ogilvie, R. (1985). Psychological correlates of electrodermal activity during REM sleep. Sleep, 8(2), 146-154.

Lerma, J., & Garcia-Austt, E. (1985). Hippocampal theta rhythm during paradoxical sleep. Effects of afferent stimuli and phase relationships with phasic events. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol, 60(1), 46-54.

Lewis, M., Kagan, J., Campbell, H., & Kalafat, J. (1966). Child Development. Child Development, 37, 63-71.

Lohr, I. (1999). The influence of effort on impairments of attention associated with major affective disorders. Parkland, FL: Universal Publishers.

Maquet, P. (1995). Sleep function(s) and cerebral metabolism. Behav Brain Res, 69(1-2), 75-83.

Maquet, P. (2000). Functional neuroimaging of normal human sleep by positron emission tomography. J Sleep Res, 9(3), 207-231.

Maquet, P., Peters, J., Aerts, J., Delfiore, G., Degueldre, C., Luxen, A., et al. (1996). Functional neuroanatomy of human rapid-eye-movement sleep and dreaming. Nature, 383(6596), 163-166.

Miller, G. A. (1956). The magical number seven plus or minus two: some limits on our capacity for processing information. Psychol Rev, 63(2), 81-97.

Moore, M. H., Petrie, C. V., & Braga, A. A. (2003). The polygraph and lie detection. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press.

Obrist, P. A., Wood, D. M., & Perez-Reyes, M. (1965). Heart Rate During Conditioning in Humans: Effects of Ucs Intensity, Vagal Blockade, and Adrenergic Block of Vasomotor Activity. J Exp Psychol, 70, 32-42.

Orem, J., & Keeling, J. (1980). A Compendium of Physiology in Sleep. In J. Orem & C. D. Barnes (Eds.), Physiology in Sleep (pp. 315-336). New York: Academic Press.

Peters, A., Schweiger, U., Pellerin, L., Hubold, C., Oltmanns, K. M., Conrad, M., et al. (2004). The selfish brain: competition for energy resources. Neurosci Biobehav Rev, 28(2), 143-180.

Pribram, K. H., & McGuinness, D. (1975). Arousal, activation, and effort in the control of attention. Psychol Rev, 82(2), 116-149.

Rama, A. N., Cho, S. C., & Kushida, C. A. (2006). Normal Human Sleep. In T. L. Lee-Chiong (Ed.), Sleep: A comprehensive handbook. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley.

Rechtschaffen, A. (1998). Current perspectives on the function of sleep. Perspect Biol Med, 41(3), 359-390.

Rimbaud, L., Passouant, P., & Cadilhac, J. (1955). Participation de l'hippocampe à la régulation des états de veille et de sommeil. Rev Neurol (Paris), 93(1), 303-308.

Rowe, K., Moreno, R., Lau, T. R., Wallooppillai, U., Nearing, B. D., Kocsis, B., et al. (1999). Heart rate surges during REM sleep are associated with theta rhythm and PGO activity in cats. Am J Physiol, 277(3 Pt 2), R843-849.

Sakai, K., Sano, K., & Iwahara, S. (1973). Eye movements and hipocampal theta activity in cats. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol, 34(5), 547-549.

Sanders, A. F. (1983). Towards a model of stress and human performance. Acta Psychol (Amst), 53(1), 61-97.

Sei, H., & Morita, Y. (1996). Acceleration of EEG theta wave precedes the phasic surge of arterial pressure during REM sleep in the rat. Neuroreport, 7(18), 3059-3062.

Sergeant, J. A., Oosterlaan, J., & van der Meere, J. (1999). Information processing and energetic factors in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. In H. C. Quay & A. E. Hogan (Eds.), Handbook of disruptive behavior disorders (pp. 75-104). New York: Plenum Publishers.

Siegel, J. M. (2005). REM Sleep. In M. H. Kryger, T. Roth & W. C. Dement (Eds.), Principles and practice of sleep medicine (4th ed., pp. 120-134). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier/Saunders.

Sullivan, C. E. (1980). Breathing in Sleep. In J. Orem & C. D. Barnes (Eds.), Physiology in sleep (pp. 212-271). New York: Academic Press.

Taylor, W. B., Moldofsky, H., & Furedy, J. J. (1985). Heart rate deceleration in REM sleep: an orienting reaction interpretation. Psychophysiology, 22(1), 110-115.

Tursky, B., Shapiro, D., Crider, A., & Kahneman, D. (1969). Pupillary, heart rate, and skin resistance changes during a mental task. J Exp Psychol, 79(1), 164-167.

Van Cauter, E., & Spiegel, K. (1999). Sleep as a mediator of the relationship between socioeconomic status and health: a hypothesis. Ann NY Acad Sci, 896, 254-261.

Van Winsum, W., Sergeant, J., & Geuze, R. (1984). The functional significance of event-related desynchronization of alpha rhythm in attentional and activating tasks. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol, 58(6), 519-524.

Verrier, R. L., Harper, R. M., & Hobson, J. A. (2005). Cardiovascular Physiology: Central and Autonomic Regulation. In M. H. Kryger, T. Roth & W. C. Dement (Eds.), Principles and practice of sleep medicine (4th ed., pp. 192-202). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier/Saunders.

Verrier, R. L., Lau, T. R., Wallooppillai, U., Quattrochi, J., Nearing, B. D., Moreno, R., et al. (1998). Primary vagally mediated decelerations in heart rate during tonic rapid eye movement sleep in cats. Am J Physiol, 274(4 Pt 2), R1136-1141.

Walter, V. J., & Walter, W. G. (1953). The central effects of rhythmic sensory stimulation. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol, 35, 215-217.

Winson, J. (1975). The Theta Mode of Hippocampal Function. In R. L. Isaacson & K. H. Pribram (Eds.), The Hippocampus (Vol. 2, pp. 169-184). New York: Plenum Press.

Zepelin, H., Siegel, J. M., & Tobler, I. (2005). Mammalian Sleep. In M. H. Kryger, T. Roth & W. C. Dement (Eds.), Principles and practice of sleep medicine (4th ed., pp. 91-100). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier/Saunders.


Repository Staff Only: item control page