A study published in the February 1st issue of the journal SLEEP provides a first direct demonstration that the “quality” and “intensity” of wakefulness can affect slow-wave activity (SWA) during subsequent sleep.
According to Chiara Cirelli, MD, PhD, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, one of the authors of the study, the importance and novelty of the paper lies in the demonstration that the crucial factor linking physiological waking activity to sleep SWA is synaptic plasticity, notably synaptic potentiation, mediated by brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) signaling.
“Namely, the study shows that wakefulness associated with exposure to an enriched environment and with high levels of exploratory activity, a condition well known to trigger plastic changes in the brain, leads to increased BNDF expression and increased sleep pressure as compared to wakefulness with low exploratory activity,” said Cirelli. “More stringently, the study finds that the amount of exploratory behavior during wakefulness can predict the extent to which BDNF is induced in the cerebral cortex, as well as the extent of the SWA response during subsequent sleep.”
This feeds very nicely with the excellent paper I reviewed recently.
Also, what does it say about the erotic dreams? And yes, I will review the companion paper on the sexual content of daydreaming as well.