We've updated our Privacy Policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data.

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. You can read our Cookie Policy here.

Advertisement
REM Sleep May Act as a Thermostat for the Brain
News

REM Sleep May Act as a Thermostat for the Brain

REM Sleep May Act as a Thermostat for the Brain
News

REM Sleep May Act as a Thermostat for the Brain

Read time:
 

Want a FREE PDF version of This News Story?

Complete the form below and we will email you a PDF version of "REM Sleep May Act as a Thermostat for the Brain"

First Name*
Last Name*
Email Address*
Country*
Company Type*
Job Function*
Would you like to receive further email communication from Technology Networks?

Technology Networks Ltd. needs the contact information you provide to us to contact you about our products and services. You may unsubscribe from these communications at any time. For information on how to unsubscribe, as well as our privacy practices and commitment to protecting your privacy, check out our Privacy Policy

Warm-blooded animal groups with higher body temperatures have lower amounts of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, while those with lower body temperatures have more REM sleep, according to new research from UCLA professor Jerome Siegel, who said his study suggests that REM sleep acts like a “thermostatically controlled brain heater.”  


The study in Lancet Neurology suggests a previously unobserved relationship between body temperature and REM sleep, a period of sleep when the brain is highly active, said Siegel, who directs the Center for Sleep Research at the Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA. 


Birds have the highest body temperature of any warm-blooded, or homeotherm, animal group at 41 degrees while getting the least REM sleep at 0.7 hours per day. That’s followed by humans and other placental mammals (37 degrees, 2 hours of REM sleep), marsupials (35 degrees, 4.4 hours of REM sleep), and monotremes (31 degrees, 7.5 hours of REM sleep). 


Brain temperature falls in non-REM sleep and then rises in REM sleep that typically follows. This pattern “allows homeotherm mammals to save energy in non-REM sleep without the brain getting so cold that it is unresponsive to threat,” Siegel said.  


The amount of humans’ REM sleep is neither high nor low compared to other homeotherm animals, “undermining some popular views suggesting a role for REM sleep in learning or emotional regulation,” he said.  


Reference: 


Siegel JM. Sleep function: an evolutionary perspective. The Lancet Neurology. 2022;21(10):937-946. doi:10.1016/S1474-4422(22)00210-1

This article has been republished from the following materials. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.

Advertisement