Sleep is a complex behavior that cyclically alternates with wakefulness and is fundamental for both mental and physical wellness. During normal sleep the body acquires a specific posture; any active behavior is absent and mental activity typically oscillates between a state of “loss of consciousness” and the experience of dreaming. Sleep is, by itself, a cyclical process characterized by the alternation of two phases, non-REM (NREM) sleep and “rapid eye movement” (REM) sleep, during which the typical synchronized electroencephalographic (EEG) pattern of NREM sleep is substituted by a “paradoxical” EEG desynchronization. NREM sleep is a state of minimal energy expenditure and motor activity, during which cardiorespiratory and thermoregulatory variables are driven by the autonomic nervous system at a lower and more stable level compared to wakefulness. During REM sleep, beyond the occurrence of REMs, posture control is lost and dreams become more vivid. Furthermore, autonomic activity is highly unstable leading to centrally driven surges in heart rate and blood pressure, breathing becomes irregular, and thermoregulation is suspended or depressed, suggesting a derangement of the integrative regulation of physiological functions. Overall sleep quality is one of the most important parameters considered for the subjective assessment of quality of life and general health status. However, although sleep function(s) is intuitively associated with some kind of rest that seems to be mostly required by the central nervous system, and many theories on sleep function have been proposed, a full comprehension of sleep function has not yet been achieved and is probably not imminent.

An Overview of Sleep Physiology and Sleep Regulation

BERTEOTTI, CHIARA;CERRI, MATTEO;LUPPI, MARCO;SILVANI, ALESSANDRO;AMICI, ROBERTO
2015

Abstract

Sleep is a complex behavior that cyclically alternates with wakefulness and is fundamental for both mental and physical wellness. During normal sleep the body acquires a specific posture; any active behavior is absent and mental activity typically oscillates between a state of “loss of consciousness” and the experience of dreaming. Sleep is, by itself, a cyclical process characterized by the alternation of two phases, non-REM (NREM) sleep and “rapid eye movement” (REM) sleep, during which the typical synchronized electroencephalographic (EEG) pattern of NREM sleep is substituted by a “paradoxical” EEG desynchronization. NREM sleep is a state of minimal energy expenditure and motor activity, during which cardiorespiratory and thermoregulatory variables are driven by the autonomic nervous system at a lower and more stable level compared to wakefulness. During REM sleep, beyond the occurrence of REMs, posture control is lost and dreams become more vivid. Furthermore, autonomic activity is highly unstable leading to centrally driven surges in heart rate and blood pressure, breathing becomes irregular, and thermoregulation is suspended or depressed, suggesting a derangement of the integrative regulation of physiological functions. Overall sleep quality is one of the most important parameters considered for the subjective assessment of quality of life and general health status. However, although sleep function(s) is intuitively associated with some kind of rest that seems to be mostly required by the central nervous system, and many theories on sleep function have been proposed, a full comprehension of sleep function has not yet been achieved and is probably not imminent.
Drug Treatment of Sleep Disorders
3
24
C. Berteotti; M. Cerri; M. Luppi; A. Silvani; R. Amici
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/396965
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