Beta EEG activity and insomnia

Neurophysiology Unit, Department of Psychiatry, Geneva University Hospital, Switzerland
Sleep Medicine Reviews (Impact Factor: 8.51). 11/2001; 5(5):363-374. DOI: 10.1053/smrv.2001.0151
Source: PubMed


To date there have been seven studies which find that beta EEG is elevated at around sleep onset and during polysomnographic sleep in patients with insomnia. These findings suggest that insomnia may be characterized by central nervous system (CNS) hyperarousal. In this article, the seven studies are critically reviewed, two theoretical perspectives on beta EEG are presented, and the concept of hyperarousal as a three component process is discussed.

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    • "High beta (21–37 Hz) is found in emotional and anxious states; and gamma activity (38–42 Hz) is associated with attention and intense cognitive activity (Thompson and Thompson 2003). In addition, excessive beta and gamma activity has been observed in people in a hyper-aroused state (e.g., stress, anxiety, or insomnia; Perlis et al. 2001). "
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    ABSTRACT: Audio Visual Stimulation (AVS), a form of neurofeedback, is a non-pharmacological intervention that has been used for both performance enhancement and symptom management. We review the history of AVS, its two sub-types (close- and open-loop), and discuss its clinical implications. We also describe a promising new application of AVS to improve sleep, and potentially decrease pain. AVS research can be traced back to the late 1800s. AVS's efficacy has been demonstrated for both performance enhancement and symptom management. Although AVS is commonly used in clinical settings, there is limited literature evaluating clinical outcomes and mechanisms of action. One of the challenges to AVS research is the lack of standardized terms, which makes systematic review and literature consolidation difficult. Future studies using AVS as an intervention should; (1) use operational definitions that are consistent with the existing literature, such as AVS, Audio-visual Entrainment, or Light and Sound Stimulation, (2) provide a clear rationale for the chosen training frequency modality, (3) use a randomized controlled design, and (4) follow the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials and/or related guidelines when disseminating results.
    Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback 08/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10484-015-9308-7 · 1.13 Impact Factor
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    • "However, the underlying causes and/or consequences of beta power during REM sleep remain unclear. High-frequency activity during REM sleep may represent dreaming [25], memory consolidation [26], [27] or, more broadly, a chronic increase of arousal levels [28]. Interestingly, the ACC, as an important interface for the regulation and integration of cognitive and emotional processes [29] has also been linked to dreaming and memory processes [30], [31]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Normal sleep continuity and architecture show remarkable inter-individual variability. Previous studies suggest that brain morphology may explain inter-individual differences in sleep variables. Method Thirty-eight healthy subjects spent two consecutive nights at the sleep laboratory with polysomnographic monitoring. Furthermore, high-resolution T1-weighted MRI datasets were acquired in all participants. EEG sleep recordings were analyzed using standard sleep staging criteria and power spectral analysis. Using the FreeSurfer software for automated segmentation, 174 variables were determined representing the volume and thickness of cortical segments and the volume of subcortical brain areas. Regression analyses were performed to examine the relationship with polysomnographic and spectral EEG power variables. Results The analysis did not provide any support for the a-priori formulated hypotheses of an association between brain morphology and polysomnographic variables. Exploratory analyses revealed that the thickness of the left caudal anterior cingulate cortex was positively associated with EEG beta2 power (24–32 Hz) during REM sleep. The volume of the left postcentral gyrus was positively associated with periodic leg movements during sleep (PLMS). Conclusions The function of the anterior cingulate cortex as well as EEG beta power during REM sleep have been related to dreaming and sleep-related memory consolidation, which may explain the observed correlation. Increased volumes of the postcentral gyrus may be the result of increased sensory input associated with PLMS. However, due to the exploratory nature of the corresponding analyses, these results have to be replicated before drawing firm conclusions.
    PLoS ONE 10/2014; 9(10):e109336. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0109336 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "An increase in high frequency EEG activity at or around sleep onset (SO) is associated with the attenuation of normal mesograde amnesia of sleep (Wyatt et al., 1997; Perlis et al., 2001b). The patients' tendency to overestimate the time needed to fall asleep may thus be attributed to the enhanced information processing at and around sleep onset (Staner et al., 2003; Perlis et al., 2001c), expressed by elevated high frequency EEG activity (Perlis et al., 2001c). "
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    ABSTRACT: Misperception of Sleep Onset Latency, often found in Primary Insomnia, has been cited to be influenced by hyperarousal, reflected in EEG- and ECG- related indices. The aim of this retrospective study was to examine the association between Central Nervous System (i.e. EEG) -and Autonomic Nervous System activity in the Sleep Onset Period and the first NREM sleep cycle in Primary Insomnia (n=17) and healthy controls (n=11). Furthermore, the study examined the influence of elevated EEG -and Autonomic Nervous System activity on Stage2 sleep-protective mechanisms (K-complexes and sleep spindles). Confirming previous findings, the Primary Insomnia-group overestimated Sleep Onset Latency and this overestimation was correlated with elevated EEG activity. A higher amount of beta EEG activity during the Sleep Onset Period was correlated with the appearance of K-complexes immediately followed by a sleep spindle in the Primary Insomnia-group. This can be interpreted as an extra attempt to protect sleep continuity or as a failure of the sleep-protective role of the K-complex by fast EEG frequencies following within one second. The strong association found between K-alpha (K-complex within one second followed by 8-12Hz EEG activity) in Stage2 sleep and a lower parasympathetic Autonomic Nervous System dominance (less high frequency HR) in Slow-wave sleep, further assumes a state of hyperarousal continuing through sleep in Primary Insomnia.
    International journal of psychophysiology: official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology 10/2013; 91(3). DOI:10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2013.10.012 · 2.88 Impact Factor
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