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Keywords:

  • EEG;
  • Sleeping arrangement effects;
  • Subject-selection;
  • Sex differences;
  • Good and poor sleep

ABSTRACT

The major purposes of this study were to test the effects of altering the typical home sleeping arrangement on subsequent laboratory sleep, to determine the nature of transient disturbances in EEG sleep patterns of habitual good sleepers, and to explore sex differences in sleep patterns of married couples.

Twenty-eight married good sleepers slept three consecutive nights in the laboratory under both sleep-with-spouse and sleep-alone conditions. Continuous EEG and eye movement recordings were obtained throughout the seven hour bed period.

Analyses of variance showed a significant increase in the amount of Stage 4 sleep and a significant decrease in REM sleep under the sleep-alone condition. Transient changes in sleep patterns of good sleepers were not associated with the usual correlates of poor sleep. Sex differences showed females with significantly more Stage 4 sleep, more total sleep, and fewer awakenings.

It was concluded that the typical home sleeping arrangement may be a significant subject-selection variable in sleep and dream research. The major findings were discussed within the framework of a cortical homeostasis hypothesis.