Beta EEG activity and insomnia

Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, United States
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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    • "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.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · PLoS ONE
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · International journal of psychophysiology: official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology
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    • "Previous studies have reported an increase in fast-frequency activity during sleep in pathological conditions such as schizophrenia, depression and insomnia [60],[61],[62]. This increase has been associated with abnormalities in the arousal mechanisms [62]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Over the past several years meditation practice has gained increasing attention as a non-pharmacological intervention to provide health related benefits, from promoting general wellness to alleviating the symptoms of a variety of medical conditions. However, the effects of meditation training on brain activity still need to be fully characterized. Sleep provides a unique approach to explore the meditation-related plastic changes in brain function. In this study we performed sleep high-density electroencephalographic (hdEEG) recordings in long-term meditators (LTM) of Buddhist meditation practices (approximately 8700 mean hours of life practice) and meditation naive individuals. We found that LTM had increased parietal-occipital EEG gamma power during NREM sleep. This increase was specific for the gamma range (25-40 Hz), was not related to the level of spontaneous arousal during NREM and was positively correlated with the length of lifetime daily meditation practice. Altogether, these findings indicate that meditation practice produces measurable changes in spontaneous brain activity, and suggest that EEG gamma activity during sleep represents a sensitive measure of the long-lasting, plastic effects of meditative training on brain function.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · PLoS ONE
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