A sleeplab-technique developed to investigate the function of REM sleep.


  • The subject is attached to sensors that continuously monitors his EEG (brain wave pattern), EOG (eye movements) and EMG (muscle tone).
  • the subject goes to sleep
  • Whenever the subject enters REM sleep by, he is awakened. (The behavioral correlates of REM sleep are: Rapid Eye Movements, desynchronised EEG and loss of muscle tone.
  • The procedure is repeated for the number of nights one wishes to study deprivation effects of.

  • As the REM sleep debt grows, the subjects must be awakened an increasing number of times during one night, indicating that the body really wants its REM sleep.
  • If allowed to sleep normally one night after selective REM sleep deprivation, the subject will spend proportionally more time in REM-sleep than usually.
  • In depressed subjects there will usually be an antidepressant effect similar to that of common antidepressant medications, i.e. a lasting effect that takes a few weeks to develop. This is contrasted by the immediate antidepressant effect that one night of total sleep deprivation has; an effect that disappears as soon as the subject sleeps again.

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