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Human sleep regulation: Insights from inter-individual differences

English title Human sleep regulation: Insights from inter-individual differences
Applicant Achermann Peter
Number 130766
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut für Pharmakologie und Toxikologie Universität Zürich
Institution of higher education University of Zurich - ZH
Main discipline Neurophysiology and Brain Research
Start/End 01.05.2010 - 31.03.2014
Approved amount 468'000.00
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Keywords (12)

sleep regulation; sleep homeostasis; computational modeling; spectral analysis; functional connectivity; trait-like features; individual variation; children; maturation; intra-cerebral recording; adolescents; adolescents maturation

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
Sleep is crucial for day-time functioning and well-being. However, its purpose and biological function are not yet well understood. The EEG provides a unique opportunity to record neuronal activity in sleeping humans non-invasively. Novel and sophisticated analyses of EEG have become essential for gaining new insights into this process.The aim of this grant is to study the mechanisms underlying inter-individual differences in sleep regulation using data collected primarily in healthy subjects. Since individual variability in sleep variables is considerable, it is important to elucidate whether individual differences are of functional relevance or should be considered merely as "noise" inherent in biological data. Investigating inter-individual differences and intra-individual stability (assessed based on multiple recordings within subjects) provides a powerful approach to address basic questions of sleep regulation. Our findings will have important implications for sleep medicine. Inter-individual variation in the response to sleep deprivation is considerable. In order to investigate the stability/variation of responses to repeated sleep deprivation within individuals, we will analyze EEG recordings of healthy young adults who underwent a protocol encompassing three periods of sleep deprivation. Currently very little is known about sleep regulation processes in children. We recently showed that extended wakefulness in preschool children leads to significant changes in EEG power spectra. In order to assess ontogenetic aspects of sleep, we will investigate longitudinal developmental aspects of sleep regulation and spectral EEG features in preschool children and during adolescent development. We will assess whether trait-like features are preserved despite neuro-developmental changes that occur during these periods.Consciousness is strikingly reduced during sleep. This may be related to changes in functional connectivity occurring during sleep, reflecting alterations in information exchange between brain areas. As observed in the topographic distribution of EEG power during sleep, we expect trait-like aspects also to be present in connectivity patterns. The analysis will be complemented by intra-cerebral recordings collected in epileptic patients undergoing pre-surgical evaluation of drug-resistant focal epilepsy. These recordings provide a unique opportunity to address neuronal aspects of individual variability, sleep and connectivity in humans.In summary, we expect the results to provide a basis for future studies at the cellular, molecular and genetic level, thereby contributing significantly to an integrative approach in sleep research.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Developmental Changes in Sleep Spindle Characteristics and Sigma Power across Early Childhood.
McClain Ian J, Lustenberger Caroline, Achermann Peter, Lassonde Jonathan M, Kurth Salome, LeBourgeois Monique K (2016), Developmental Changes in Sleep Spindle Characteristics and Sigma Power across Early Childhood., in Neural plasticity, 2016, 3670951-3670951.
Increased Sleep Depth in Developing Neural Networks: New Insights from Sleep Restriction in Children.
Kurth Salome, Dean Douglas C, Achermann Peter, O'Muircheartaigh Jonathan, Huber Reto, Deoni Sean C L, LeBourgeois Monique K (2016), Increased Sleep Depth in Developing Neural Networks: New Insights from Sleep Restriction in Children., in Frontiers in human neuroscience, 10, 456-456.
Sleep Physiology in Toddlers: Effects of Missing a Nap on Subsequent Night Sleep.
Lassonde Jonathan M, Rusterholz Thomas, Kurth Salome, Schumacher Allyson M, Achermann Peter, LeBourgeois Monique K (2016), Sleep Physiology in Toddlers: Effects of Missing a Nap on Subsequent Night Sleep., in Neurobiology of sleep and circadian rhythms, 1(1), 19-26.
The spectrum of the non-rapid eye movement sleep electroencephalogram following total sleep deprivation is trait-like.
Tarokh Leila, Rusterholz Thomas, Achermann Peter, Van Dongen Hans P A (2015), The spectrum of the non-rapid eye movement sleep electroencephalogram following total sleep deprivation is trait-like., in Journal of sleep research, 24(4), 360-3.
Early adolescent cognitive gains are marked by increased sleep EEG coherence.
Tarokh Leila, Carskadon Mary A, Achermann Peter (2014), Early adolescent cognitive gains are marked by increased sleep EEG coherence., in PloS one, 9(9), 106847-106847.
Effect of prolonged wakefulness on electroencephalographic oscillatory activity during sleep.
Olbrich Eckehard, Landolt Hans Peter, Achermann Peter (2014), Effect of prolonged wakefulness on electroencephalographic oscillatory activity during sleep., in Journal of sleep research, 23, 253-260.
Research design and quantitative methods
Achermann Peter, Tarokh Leila, Peigneux Philippe (2014), Research design and quantitative methods, in Bassetti Claudio (ed.), European Sleep Research Society, Regensburg, 517-527.
Ammonia-related changes in cerebral electrogenesis in healthy subjects and patients with cirrhosis.
Bersagliere A, Raduazzo I D, Schiff S, Gatta A, Merkel C, Amodio P, Achermann P, Montagnese S (2013), Ammonia-related changes in cerebral electrogenesis in healthy subjects and patients with cirrhosis., in Clinicalneurophysiology : official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiolo, 124(3), 492-6.
Development of Brain EEG Connectivity across Early Childhood: Does Sleep Play a Role?
Kurth Salome, Achermann Peter, Rusterholz Thomas, Lebourgeois Monique K (2013), Development of Brain EEG Connectivity across Early Childhood: Does Sleep Play a Role?, in Brain sciences, 3(4), 1445-1460.
Fading signatures of critical brain dynamics during sustained wakefulness in humans.
Meisel Christian, Olbrich Eckehard, Shriki Oren, Achermann Peter (2013), Fading signatures of critical brain dynamics during sustained wakefulness in humans., in The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 33(44), 17363-72.
Regional differences in trait-like characteristics of the waking EEG in early adolescence.
Benz Dominik C, Tarokh Leila, Achermann Peter, Loughran Sarah P (2013), Regional differences in trait-like characteristics of the waking EEG in early adolescence., in BMC neuroscience, 14, 117-117.
Sleep homeostasis
Tarokh L, Achermann P (2013), Sleep homeostasis, in Kushida C (ed.), Academic Press, Waltham, MA, USA, 413-417.
Spindle frequency activity might provide lateralizing information in drug-resistant nocturnal mesial frontal lobe epilepsy: a pilot study on the contribution of sleep recordings.
Bersagliere Alessia, Achermann Peter, Lo Russo Giorgo, Proserpio Paola, Nobili Lino (2013), Spindle frequency activity might provide lateralizing information in drug-resistant nocturnal mesial frontal lobe epilepsy: a pilot study on the contribution of sleep recordings., in Seizure: European Journal of Epilepsy, 22, 719-725.
Dissipation of sleep pressure is stable across adolescence.
Tarokh L, Carskadon M A, Achermann P (2012), Dissipation of sleep pressure is stable across adolescence., in Neuroscience, 216, 167-177.
Induced hyperammonemia may compromise the ability to generate restful sleep in patients with cirrhosis.
Bersagliere Alessia, Raduazzo Iolanda D, Nardi Mariateresa, Schiff Sami, Gatta Angelo, Amodio Piero, Achermann Peter, Montagnese Sara (2012), Induced hyperammonemia may compromise the ability to generate restful sleep in patients with cirrhosis., in Hepatology (Baltimore, Md.), 55(3), 869-78.
Sleep electroencephalography topography and children's intellectual ability.
Geiger Anja, Huber Reto, Kurth Salomé, Ringli Maya, Achermann Peter, Jenni Oskar G (2012), Sleep electroencephalography topography and children's intellectual ability., in Neuroreport, 23(2), 93-7.
Sleep homeostasis and models of sleep regulation
Achermann P, Borbély AA (2011), Sleep homeostasis and models of sleep regulation, in Kryger M (ed.), Elsevier Saunders, Missouri, 431-444.
The complexity of sleep
Wennekers Thomas (ed.) (2011), The complexity of sleep, Royal Society Publishing, London.
The multiple time scales of sleep dynamics as a challenge for modelling the sleeping brain.
Olbrich Eckehard, Claussen Jens Christian, Achermann Peter (2011), The multiple time scales of sleep dynamics as a challenge for modelling the sleeping brain., in Philosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences, 369(1952), 3884-901.
The sleep EEG as a marker of intellectual ability in school age children.
Geiger Anja, Huber Reto, Kurth Salomé, Ringli Maya, Jenni Oskar G, Achermann Peter (2011), The sleep EEG as a marker of intellectual ability in school age children., in Sleep, 34(2), 181-9.
The sleeping brain as a complex system.
Olbrich Eckehard, Achermann Peter, Wennekers Thomas (2011), The sleeping brain as a complex system., in Philosophical transactions. Series A, Mathematical, physical, and engineering sciences, 369(1952), 3697-707.
Topographical aspects in the dynamics of sleep homeostasis in young men: individual patterns.
Rusterholz Thomas, Achermann Peter (2011), Topographical aspects in the dynamics of sleep homeostasis in young men: individual patterns., in BMC Neuroscience, 12, 84-84.
Trait-like characteristics of the sleep EEG across adolescent development.
Tarokh Leila, Carskadon Mary A, Achermann Peter (2011), Trait-like characteristics of the sleep EEG across adolescent development., in The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 31(17), 6371-8.
Developmental changes in brain connectivity assessed using the sleep EEG.
Tarokh L, Carskadon M A, Achermann P (2010), Developmental changes in brain connectivity assessed using the sleep EEG., in Neuroscience, 171(2), 622-34.
Sleep, intelligence and cognition in a developmental context: differentiation between traits and state-dependent aspects.
Geiger Anja, Achermann Peter, Jenni Oskar G (2010), Sleep, intelligence and cognition in a developmental context: differentiation between traits and state-dependent aspects., in Progress in brain research, 185, 167-79.
Inter-individual differences in the dynamics of the homeostatic process are trait-like and distinct for sleep versus wakefulness
Rusterholz Thomas, Tharok Leila, Van Dongen Hans P. A., Achermann Peter, Inter-individual differences in the dynamics of the homeostatic process are trait-like and distinct for sleep versus wakefulness, in Journal of Sleep Research.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale, Padova Italy (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Whasington Sate University, Spokane United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Brown University, Procidence United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Max Planck Institute for Mathematics in the Sciences, Leipzig Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
University of Colorado at Boulder United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Universität Salzburg Austria (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Department of Neuroscience, Niguarda Hospital, Milan Italy (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
22nd Congress of the European Sleep Research Society Talk given at a conference Regional differences in the impact of sleep deprivation on sleep EEG power in early to mid adolescence 19.09.2014 Tallin, Estonia Achermann Peter;
Workshop, Department of Integrative Physiology, University of Colorado Boulder Individual talk Principles and applications of spectral analysis 13.03.2014 Boulder, Co, United States of America Achermann Peter;
Workshop, Department of Integrative Physiology, University of Colorado Boulder Individual talk Principles and applications of spectral analysis 13.03.2014 Boulder, United States of America Achermann Peter;
Seminar, Department of Integrative Physiology, University of Colorado Boulder Individual talk Slow waves and sleep regulation 10.03.2014 Boulder, CO, United States of America Achermann Peter;
Seminar, Department of Integrative Physiology, University of Colorado Boulder Individual talk Slow waves and sleep regulation 10.03.2014 Boulder, United States of America Achermann Peter;
Seminar, Department of Psychology, University of Salzburg Talk given at a conference Sleep and its Regulation in Adolescence 22.01.2014 Salzburg, Austria Tarokh Leila;
Jahrestagung Deutsche Gesellschaft für Schlafforschung und Schlafmedizin Talk given at a conference Gegenwart und Entwicklung der Schlafmedizin – aus Sicht der SGSSC 18.10.2013 Wiesbaden, Germany Achermann Peter;
Jahrestagung Deutsche Gesellschaft für Schlafforschung und Schlafmedizin (DGSM) Talk given at a conference Gegenwart und Entwicklung der Schlafmedizin – aus Sicht der SGSSC. Schlafmedizin und Schlafforschung in der Schweiz 18.10.2013 Wiesbaden, Germany Achermann Peter;
Sleep and Rhythms in Medicine Talk given at a conference Polysomnography: technical aspects 16.10.2013 Padova, Italy Achermann Peter;
2nd Alpine Sleep Summer School Talk given at a conference Quantitative methods of sleep evaluation 26.08.2013 Ljubljana, Slovenia Achermann Peter;
2nd Alpine Sleep Summer School Talk given at a conference Sleep homeostasis 26.08.2013 Ljubljana, Slovenia Achermann Peter;
Seminar, Warsaw University of Technology Individual talk Slow waves and sleep regulation 20.06.2013 Warsaw, Poland Achermann Peter;
Seminar, Medical University of Warsaw, Department of Psychiatry Individual talk Human sleep and its regulation: Individual and trait-like aspects 18.06.2013 Warsaw, Poland Achermann Peter;
Seminar, Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology Individual talk Modeling circadian rhythm generation in the SCN with locally coupled self-sustained oscillators 14.06.2013 Warsaw, Poland Achermann Peter;
Seminar, Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology Individual talk Quantitative analysis of sleep: Useful in clinical applications? 14.06.2013 Warsaw, Poland Achermann Peter;
WUT Colloquium Lecture, Warsaw University of Technology Individual talk Why do we sleep? Hypothesis and controversies 13.06.2013 Warsaw, Poland Achermann Peter;
Annual Meeting Associated Professional Sleep Societies Talk given at a conference The developmental trajectory of the sleep EEG in adolescents with and without a parental history of alcoholism 01.06.2013 Baltimore, United States of America Tarokh Leila;
Annual Meeting Associated Professional Sleep Societies Talk given at a conference Sigma Band Coherence is Associated with Cognitive Performance in Healthy Adolescents 01.06.2013 Baltimore, United States of America Tarokh Leila;
Dubrovnik Conference on Cognitive Science: Sleep, Neural Oscillations and Cognition Talk given at a conference Slow waves and sleep regulation 16.05.2013 Dubrovnik, Croatia Achermann Peter;
Dubrovnik Conference on Cognitive Science: Sleep, Neural Oscillations and Cognition Talk given at a conference Slow waves and sleep regulation 16.05.2013 Dubrovnik, Croatia Achermann Peter;
International Pediatric Sleep Association Meeting Talk given at a conference Brain development and cognitive function in adolescents: Insights from longitudinal assessment of the sleep EEG 05.12.2012 Manchaster, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Tarokh Leila;
Congress of the European Sleep Research Society Poster Longitudinal Analysis of the Homeostatic Response to Sleep Deprivation in Adolescents 05.09.2012 Paris, France Tarokh Leila;
Congress of the European Sleep Research Society Poster Trait-like characteristics of the Non-REM Sleep EEG Spectrum Following Total Sleep Deprivation 05.09.2012 Paris, France Tarokh Leila; Achermann Peter;
Workshop “Resonance and Synchronization” Talk given at a conference The two-process model of sleep regulation 21.08.2012 Lorentz Center, Leiden, NL, Netherlands Achermann Peter;
Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies Poster The Homeostatic Response to Sleep Deprivation Does Not Change from Mid to Late Adolescence: Preliminary Analysis 04.06.2012 Boston, United States of America Tarokh Leila;
Seminar University of Surrey Individual talk Human sleep and its regulation: Individual aspects 08.05.2012 Guildford, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Achermann Peter;
Kolloquium: Aktuelle Themen der Schlafforschung und Chronobiology Individual talk Human sleep and its regulation: Individual aspects 24.02.2012 Zurich, Switzerland Achermann Peter;
1st Alpine Sleep Summer School Talk given at a conference Sleep-wake homeostasis 22.08.2011 Lugano, Switzerland Achermann Peter;
Seminar University of Colorado Boulder Individual talk Human sleep regulation: Individual aspects 20.06.2011 Boulder, CO, United States of America Achermann Peter;
Annual Meeting Association of Professional Sleep Societies Talk given at a conference Power, coherence, and traits: insights into normal adolescent brain development gained from the sleep EEG 11.06.2011 Minneapolis, United States of America Tarokh Leila;
Congress of the European Sleep Research Society Talk given at a conference Quantitative analysis of sleep: Could it be of any help in scoring sleep in patients with neurological disorders? 14.09.2010 Lisbon, Portugal Achermann Peter;
Congress of the European Sleep Research Society Talk given at a conference Modeling individual differences and regional aspects in sleep homeostasis 14.09.2010 Lisbon, Portugal Achermann Peter;
Biosignal 2010 Talk given at a conference Sleep homeostasis and slow oscillations in the human sleep EEG 14.07.2010 Berlin, Germany Achermann Peter;
ESRS_EU „Marie Curie“ Project, Training in Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine Talk given at a conference Automatic sleep staging and scoring: pros and cons 02.07.2010 Seeon, Germany Achermann Peter;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
International Symposium in Honor of Prof. Irene Tobler - Animal sleep: a research topic and a model 18.02.2011 Zürich, Switzerland
ESRS_EU „Marie Curie“ Project, Training in Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine 21.06.2010 Zurich, Switzerland

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Insomnia - Alive: Jazzfestival Montreux Western Switzerland 2014
Other activities Kurs für Kinder (Kinderuniversität) German-speaking Switzerland 2013
Media relations: radio, television Wissen aktuell: Tag des Schlafes. Interview DRS1 German-speaking Switzerland 2012
Talks/events/exhibitions Insomnia German-speaking Switzerland 2011
Talks/events/exhibitions Warum schlafen wir? German-speaking Switzerland 2011
Talks/events/exhibitions Warum Schlafen wir und wie viel Schlaf brauchen wir? German-speaking Switzerland 2010

Awards

Title Year
Sponsors Award for Outstanding Basic Sleep Research 2010 of the Swiss Society of Sleep Research, Sle 2010

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
112674 Human sleep regulation: topographical EEG analysis and modeling 01.05.2006 Project funding (Div. I-III)
146643 Sleep onset and other state transitions: insights from quantitative EEG analysis 01.04.2014 Project funding (Div. I-III)
136249 Resting states of the brain and state dependent information processing in health and disease 01.01.2012 Sinergia

Abstract

Sleep is crucial for day-time functioning and well-being. However, its purpose and biological function are not yet well understood. Research in humans is important to promote our understanding of the physiological mechanisms underlying sleep regulation. Novel sophisticated EEG analyses have become essential for gaining new insights into this process.Our efforts center on the mechanisms underlying inter-individual differences in sleep regulation based on data collected mainly in healthy subjects. Our systematic approach encompasses the combination of detailed EEG analyses and computational modeling. Since individual variability in sleep variables is considerable, it is important to elucidate whether individual differences are of functional relevance or should be considered merely as “noise” inherent in biological data. Investigating inter-individual differences and intra-individual stability (assessed based on multiple recordings within subjects) provides a powerful approach to address basic questions of sleep regulation. Our findings will be of great relevance to sleep medicine. Inter-individual variation in the response to sleep deprivation is considerable. In order to investigate the stability/variation of responses to repeated sleep deprivation within individuals, we will analyze EEG recordings of healthy young adults who underwent a protocol encompassing three periods of sleep deprivation. The focus will be on spectral analysis of the EEG with the aim of identifying those frequencies which show the strongest variation between individuals.Currently very little is known about sleep regulation processes in children. We recently we showed for the first time that extended wakefulness in preschool children leads to significant changes in EEG power spectra. In order to assess ontogenetic aspects of sleep, we will investigate longitudinal developmental aspects of sleep regulation and spectral EEG features in preschool children and during adolescent development. Because we study the aforementioned phenomena longitudinally, we will be able to assess whether trait-like features are preserved despite neuro-developmental changes that occur during these periods.Consciousness is strikingly reduced during sleep, in particular during slow wave sleep. This may be related to changes in functional connectivity occurring during sleep, reflecting alterations in information exchange between brain areas. Functional connectivity between brain areas during sleep and changes occurring after sleep deprivation will be investigated in EEG data recorded with 27 derivations based on source localization (LORETA) techniques. As we observed individual “fingerprints” in the topographic distribution of EEG power during sleep, we expect trait-like aspects also to be present in connectivity patterns. The analysis will be complemented by intra-cerebral recordings collected in epileptic patients undergoing pre-surgical evaluation of drug-resistant focal epilepsy. These recordings provide a unique opportunity to address neuronal aspects of individual variability, sleep and connectivity in humans.In summary, we expect the results to provide a basis for future studies at the cellular, molecular and genetic level, thereby contributing significantly to an integrative approach in sleep research.
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