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June 1970

Acute Reversal of the Sleep-Waking Cycle in ManEffect on Sleep Stage Patterns

Author Affiliations

Bronx, NY
From the Department of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY. Dr. Weitzman is now with the Department of Neurology, Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center, Bronx, NY.

Arch Neurol. 1970;22(6):483-489. doi:10.1001/archneur.1970.00480240003001

PAST studies of the sleep-waking circadian cycle in man emphasized the temporal relationship to other rhythmic physiological and chemical functions.1 It was implicitly assumed in these studies that sleep is a unitary process. Recent evidence, however, clearly indicates that sleep is composed of recurring short-term physiologic events.2,3 In man, during each daily sleep period, a consistent sequence of sleep patterns occurs, characterized by four or five recurrent 90-minute cycles. Future studies of circadian phase relationships between sleep and physiologic variables should take into account the qualitative and quantitative differences between sleep stage patterns. We have begun to study the time relation of sleep stages and neuroendocrine processes.4 The method of cycle phase shift of 180° (sleep-waking cycle inversion) has been used in man.5-8 This report describes the changes in sleep pattern when normal young adults were subjected to an acute inversion of sleep-waking cycles in

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