The evolution of REM sleep

Mahesh M. Thakkar, Subimal Datta

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Since the dawn of civilization, sleep has fascinated humankind. Myriad treatises and reviews, scientific and nonscientific, have been written in an attempt to explain the phenomenon of sleep, yet none has been comprehensive enough to gain general acceptance. It is now well established that sleep is neither a unitary nor a passive process. Intricate neuronal systems via complex mechanisms are responsible for controlling sleep. This chapter focuses on the evolution of rapideye-movement (REM) sleep; for detailed information about other behavioral states, the reader is referred to several comprehensive reviews (Datta & Maclean, 2007; Jones, 2003; Mignot, 2004; Siegel, 2004; Steriade & McCarley, 2005). We begin with a brief description of the discovery of REM sleep and then describe the phylogeny and evolution of REM. The discovery of REM sleep, a major breakthrough, revolutionized the field of sleep research. The process that led to this discovery began in Kleitman’s laboratory at the University of Chicago Medical School in 1953. Kleitman and his graduate student Eugene Aserinsky noticed rhythms in eye movements during sleep in humans and linked this to dreaming (Aserinsky & Kleitman, 1953, 1955). Subsequently, Dement and Kleitman (1957) characterized the electroencephalographic (EEG) activity during dreaming in humans, and later Dement (1958) recorded rapid eye movements during sleep in animals. These discoveries established the presence of the non-REM-REM sleep cycle. However, it was only after Jouvet’s demonstration of muscle atonia (total suppression of muscle tone) and the importance of the pontine reticular formation in REM sleep (which he termed –sommeil paradoxal— or paradoxical sleep [referenced in Dement, 2000; Jones, 1991; Jouvet & Mounier, 1960; and Jouvet, Michel, & Courjon, 1959]) that finally established REM sleep as a distinct state of behavior along with wakefulness and non-REM (NREM) sleep cycle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEvolution of Sleep: Phylogenetic and Functional Perspectives
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages197-217
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780511642074
ISBN (Print)9780521894975
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Sleep
REM Sleep
Civilization
Muscles
Wakefulness
Phylogeny
Eye Movements
Medical Schools
Students

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Thakkar, M. M., & Datta, S. (2009). The evolution of REM sleep. In Evolution of Sleep: Phylogenetic and Functional Perspectives (pp. 197-217). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511642074.010

The evolution of REM sleep. / Thakkar, Mahesh M.; Datta, Subimal.

Evolution of Sleep: Phylogenetic and Functional Perspectives. Cambridge University Press, 2009. p. 197-217.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Thakkar, MM & Datta, S 2009, The evolution of REM sleep. in Evolution of Sleep: Phylogenetic and Functional Perspectives. Cambridge University Press, pp. 197-217. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511642074.010
Thakkar MM, Datta S. The evolution of REM sleep. In Evolution of Sleep: Phylogenetic and Functional Perspectives. Cambridge University Press. 2009. p. 197-217 https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511642074.010
Thakkar, Mahesh M. ; Datta, Subimal. / The evolution of REM sleep. Evolution of Sleep: Phylogenetic and Functional Perspectives. Cambridge University Press, 2009. pp. 197-217
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