REM and NREM power spectral analysis on two consecutive nights in psychophysiological and paradoxical insomnia sufferers

Geneviève St-Jean, Isabelle Turcotte, Alexandra D Pérusse, Célyne H Bastien
International Journal of Psychophysiology 2013, 89 (2): 181-94
The objectives of the study were to examine EEG activities using power spectral analysis (PSA) of good sleepers (GS), psychophysiological (PsyI) and paradoxical (ParI) insomnia sufferers on two consecutive nights. Participants completed three nights of PSG recordings in a sleep laboratory following a clinical evaluation. Participants were 26 PsyI, 20 ParI and 21 GS (mean age=40 years, SD=9.4). All sleep cycles of Nights 2 and 3 were retained for PSA. The absolute and relative activity in frequency bands (0.00 to 125.00 Hz) were computed at multiple frontal, central and parietal sites in REM and NREM sleep. Mixed model ANOVAs were performed with absolute and relative PSA data to assess differences between groups and nights. Over the course of the two nights, more absolute delta activity at F3, C3, and P3 was observed in ParI compared with PsyI suggesting deactivation of the left hemisphere in ParI and/or hyperactivation in PsyI. Further analysis on absolute PSA data revealed that differences between groups relate mostly to NREM. In REM, lower relative activity in slower frequency bands was found in ParI in comparison with GS and less relative theta activity was found in PsyI compared with GS implying higher activation in insomnia. In addition, between nights variability has been found in absolute powers of faster frequency bands (beta to omega). Signs of decreased cortical activity in absolute PSA in NREM combined with increased relative cortical activation in REM were found in ParI which might contribute to the misperception of sleep in ParI.

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