A relay model of human sleep stages
Laboratory of Sleep/Wake Neurobiology, Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and Neurophysiology, Russian Academy of Sciences, 5A Butlerova Street, 117485, Moscow, Russia
2 A. N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Academy of Sciences, 33 Leninskij Prospect, 119071, Moscow, Russia
Accepted: 24 November 2023
Published online: 20 December 2023
Sleep is quantitatively described by subdividing polysomnographic records into intervals each of which is allocated to one of the just 5 all-or-nothing variables called “sleep–wake stages”. What are the mechanisms governing the establishment of such 5 relatively stable stages and rapid transitions between them? We modeled these stages as resulting from the competing interactions between the mutually inhibiting drives for wake, NREM sleep, and REM sleep that are proposed to work in a similar way as two-, two-, and one-way switch, respectively. The electromechanical counterparts of the stages were visualized as 5 variants of an electrical circuit connecting these switches with three lamps. During W and transient state N1, two sleep switches are switched off, and three lamps are turned off. During other transitions, one of these lamps is turning on after changing in on–off state of one or two of three switches. During transitions to N2, one (N2) lamp is turning on. During the following transitions to N3, one more (N3) lamp is turning on. During transitions from N2 to R, the N2 lamp is turning off, while the R lamp is turning on. Estimates of stage-specific scores on the 1st and 2nd principal components of the electroencephalographic spectra provided empirical evidence for such on–off states of these switches.
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