Increased Time in Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Following a Traumatic Event May Offset Symptoms of Fear

Increased Time in Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Following a Traumatic Event May Offset Symptoms of Fear – Psychiatry Advisor

Sleep therapeutics may perhaps be an helpful remedy of psychological anxiety promptly following a traumatic occasion. These outcomes had been published in Scientific Reports.

Researchers from Washington State University utilised male, Long Evans rats aged 60-90 days for this study. The rats underwent a surgery to implant optogenetic stimulating fiber optic cable and electroencephalographic/electromyographic recording electrodes two weeks right after viral infection with a plasmid containing the Channelrhodopsin-two gene embedded with an enhanced yellow fluorescent protein marker. Rats had been exposed to three successive single prolonged stressors which incorporated two hours of physical restraint, forced group swims for 20 minutes, and 7 days of isolation. The animals participated in worry conditioning, worry extinction, and extinction recall experiments.

When the prolonged anxiety exposure was introduced at the transition from light to dark cycles, the rats had a 43-minute reduction of REM sleep (F[7,55], three.three P =.007) and 380-minute enhance of awake time (F[7,55], two.74 P =.019) in the course of the dark cycle following the trauma and an 80-minute enhance of REM sleep (F[7,55], 1.six P =.05) in the course of the subsequent light cycle.

The alteration of sleep behavior reached statistical significance at eight days following the prolonged stressor exposure in which non-REM bouts had been decreased by 38% (F[7,55], two.81 P =.017) and wake bouts by 36% (F[7,55], three.39 P =.006) in the course of the dark cycle compared with baseline.

In contrast with rats that received only the stressors, rats that had been stimulated with continuous optogenetic stimulation right after the stressful events exhibited a linear enhance of REM in the course of each the dark (rtwo, .83 P =.0045) and the light (rtwo, .89 P =.0013) cycles. Non-REM sleep improved in the course of the dark cycle (rtwo, .94 P =.0004) and decreased in the course of the light cycle (rtwo, .46 P =.09). Periods of awake time decreased in the course of the dark cycle (rtwo, .92 P =.007) and remained largely unchanged in the course of the light cycle (rtwo, .15 P =.37).

The single prolonged stressor exposures and worry extinction recall impairments that these rats had been exposed to have been linked to post traumatic anxiety disorder (PTSD)-like severity amongst animals. To test no matter if interventions may perhaps repair the sleep alterations right after exposure to anxiety, the animals had been ontogenetically stimulated. Rats with a tone only presentation in the course of the recall phase of the experiment had a 33% reduction of freezing behavior compared with manage rats.

These outcomes had been restricted by not assessing the down-stream effects of the physiological mechanisms which triggered these modifications in sleep patterns and demand extra study.

These information indicated that an enhance of sleep following a traumatic occasion was adequate to rescue the trauma-connected memory defects connected with worry. Although future research are necessary to relate PTSD with sleep, therapeutics which enhance sleep may perhaps be a prospective tool for the remedy of PTSD.


Davis CJ and Vanderheyden WM. Optogenetic sleep enhancement improves fear‑associated memory processing following trauma exposure in rats. Sci Rep. 202010(1):18025. doi:ten.1038/s41598-020-75237-9.

Originally published by

Leave a Comment