During the night of sleep there is a recurrent cycle of brain wave changes and physiologic events punctuated by the dream periods. When the electroencephalogram changes from a high voltage slow to a low voltage rapid pattern the eyes begin to move in bursts of rapid movement and the dream period begins. The dream periods (stage REM) may be considered as a distinct physiologic state from the rest of the night (non-REM sleep). In patients with paralysis of upward eye movement during waking, during non-REM sleep the eyes moved upward as if no paralysis were present. However, during REM sleep upward eye movement was severely restricted. The results suggest that the functional organization for eye movements during REM sleep is similar to that of waking whereas this organization is dissolved during the remainder of sleep.
Jacobs L, Feldman M, Bender MB. Eye Movements During Sleep: II. The Pattern With Upward Gaze Paralysis. Arch Neurol. 1971;25(3):212–217. doi:10.1001/archneur.1971.00490030038003
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