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Re: REM sleep christophrejmc

Posted by Elizabeth on February 23, 2002, at 16:33:01

In reply to Re: REM sleep, posted by christophrejmc on February 23, 2002, at 13:30:51

> REM sleep? Do you mean stage 4 sleep (the one that narcoleptics don't get enough of)?

No, Stage IV is "deep sleep" -- REM most resembles Stage I, a shallower stage of sleep. The difference between REM sleep and the other stages (apart from the eye movements and the presence of dreams in REM sleep) is that nonREM sleep is "synchronized" -- the neurons tend to fire at the same time, resulting in high-amplitude, low-frequency waves. REM sleep -- also known as "desynchronized" sleep -- produces low-amplitude, high-frequency waves because the neurons are all firing at different times.

Nardil's suppression of REM sleep makes it a very effective antinarcolepsy drug. Even before REM sleep is completely suppressed, Nardil prevents the skeletal muscle atonia that is ordinarily seen in REM sleep. This atonia is what causes cataplexy to occur in narcolepsy.

-elizabeth


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