Central nervous regulation of body temperature during sleep

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Science  29 Oct 1976:
Vol. 194, Issue 4264, pp. 537-539
DOI: 10.1126/science.973138


The relationship between hypothalamic temperature and metabolic heat production was measured during wakefulness, slow-wave sleep, and paradoxical sleep in unrestrained kangaroo rats (Dipodomys). Hypothalamic temperature was manipulated with chronically implanted, water-perfused thermodes while cortical electroencephalogram, electromyogram, metabolic rate, and body movement were continuously recorded. During slow-wave sleep, in comparison to wakefulness, there is a lowered threshold hypothalamic temperature for the metabolic heat production response and a lowered proportionality constant relating rate of metabolic heat production to hypothalamic temperature. During paradoxical sleep no increase in metabolic heat production could be elicited by lowering hypothalamic temperature, which indicates that the thermoregulatory system is inoperative. These results provide a basis for explaining the changes in various body temperatures, metabolic rate, and other thermoregulatory responses during sleep in a variety of mammals.