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Seasonal variation in sleep homeostasis in migratory geese: a rebound of NREM sleep following sleep deprivation in summer but not in winter


van Hasselt, Sjoerd J; Mekenkamp, Gert-Jan; Komdeur, Jan; Allocca, Giancarlo; Vyssotski, Alexei L; Piersma, Theunis; Rattenborg, Niels C; Meerlo, Peter (2020). Seasonal variation in sleep homeostasis in migratory geese: a rebound of NREM sleep following sleep deprivation in summer but not in winter. Sleep:zsaa244.

Abstract

Sleep is a behavioral and physiological state that is thought to serve important functions. Many animals go through phases in the annual cycle where sleep time might be limited, for example, during the migration and breeding phases. This leads to the question whether there are seasonal changes in sleep homeostasis. Using electroencephalogram (EEG) data loggers, we measured sleep in summer and winter in 13 barnacle geese (Branta leucopsis) under semi-natural conditions. During both seasons, we examined the homeostatic regulation of sleep by depriving the birds of sleep for 4 and 8 h after sunset. In winter, barnacle geese showed a clear diurnal rhythm in sleep and wakefulness. In summer, this rhythm was less pronounced, with sleep being spread out over the 24-h cycle. On average, the geese slept 1.5 h less per day in summer compared with winter. In both seasons, the amount of NREM sleep was additionally affected by the lunar cycle, with 2 h NREM sleep less during full moon compared to new moon. During summer, the geese responded to 4 and 8 h of sleep deprivation with a compensatory increase in NREM sleep time. In winter, this homeostatic response was absent. Overall, sleep deprivation only resulted in minor changes in the spectral composition of the sleep EEG. In conclusion, barnacle geese display season-dependent homeostatic regulation of sleep. These results demonstrate that sleep homeostasis is not a rigid phenomenon and suggest that some species may tolerate sleep loss under certain conditions or during certain periods of the year.

Abstract

Sleep is a behavioral and physiological state that is thought to serve important functions. Many animals go through phases in the annual cycle where sleep time might be limited, for example, during the migration and breeding phases. This leads to the question whether there are seasonal changes in sleep homeostasis. Using electroencephalogram (EEG) data loggers, we measured sleep in summer and winter in 13 barnacle geese (Branta leucopsis) under semi-natural conditions. During both seasons, we examined the homeostatic regulation of sleep by depriving the birds of sleep for 4 and 8 h after sunset. In winter, barnacle geese showed a clear diurnal rhythm in sleep and wakefulness. In summer, this rhythm was less pronounced, with sleep being spread out over the 24-h cycle. On average, the geese slept 1.5 h less per day in summer compared with winter. In both seasons, the amount of NREM sleep was additionally affected by the lunar cycle, with 2 h NREM sleep less during full moon compared to new moon. During summer, the geese responded to 4 and 8 h of sleep deprivation with a compensatory increase in NREM sleep time. In winter, this homeostatic response was absent. Overall, sleep deprivation only resulted in minor changes in the spectral composition of the sleep EEG. In conclusion, barnacle geese display season-dependent homeostatic regulation of sleep. These results demonstrate that sleep homeostasis is not a rigid phenomenon and suggest that some species may tolerate sleep loss under certain conditions or during certain periods of the year.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Neuroinformatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Physiology (medical), Clinical Neurology
Language:English
Date:21 November 2020
Deposited On:16 Feb 2021 08:57
Last Modified:16 Feb 2021 09:02
Publisher:American Academy of Sleep Medicine
ISSN:0161-8105
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsaa244
PubMed ID:33220057

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