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Keywords:

  • rapid eye-movement sleep;
  • skin;
  • sleep deprivation;
  • stress;
  • wound healing

Summary

Sleep deprivation is widely regarded as a stressor and has been shown to have significant effects on host defences. Severely sleep-deprived rats develop lesions on their paws and tails, suggesting possible deficits in the healing process. The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of rapid eye-movement (REM) sleep deprivation (RSD) on wound healing in a rat model. Male dark-hooded Long-Evans rats, 2–4 months old, were subjected to dorsal application of two sterile punch biopsies, each 3.5 mm in size. Biopsies were performed either immediately before or immediately after 5 days of sleep deprivation. Wound healing in REM sleep-deprived animals was compared with home cage control and yoked control animals. RSD did not produce differences in the rate of healing, regardless of the timing of the biopsy punch. RSD does not appear to have significant effects on wound healing and thus appears to act differently from other types of stressors on wound healing.