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March 2, 1970

Sleep: Physiology and Pathology

Author Affiliations

University of Florida Gainesville

JAMA. 1970;211(9):1547. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170090063022

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


The symposium reported in this book presents the current research bearing on three very closely related aspects of sleep: Its physiology, its pathology, and the use of drugs in the management of sleep disorders. This last section will particularly interest the practitioner.

Sleep research is a new field. It has not had the tempering influence of long-standing data gathering, theorizing, and clinical application. Instead, the newly available technology of the last two decades has enabled it to burst forth from many directions at once. The book accurately represents this, and conflicting theories stand shoulder to shoulder, apparently supported by equally incontrovertible data. For example, in regard to rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, one might have difficulty in reconciling Dement's statement ("no study has shown that REM deprivation has significant functional consequences for the waking life of human subjects") with Webb's ("REM deprivation results in a hyperactive and labile response state").