Ambient temperature during torpor affects NREM sleep EEG during arousal episodes in hibernating European ground squirrels

Arjen M Strijkstra*, Serge Daan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
159 Downloads (Pure)


Ambient temperature (T-a) systematically affects the frequency of arousal episodes in mammalian hibernation. This variation might hypothetically be attributed to temperature effects on the rate of sleep debt increase in torpor. We studied this rate by recording sleep electroencephalogram (EEG) in arousal episodes induced after 4 days of torpor at different T-a. Spontaneous torpor bout duration (TBD) varied with T-a: TBD was maximal at 5.5 degrees C (10.7 days), and was reduced at lower (-5 degrees C: 5.0 days, 0 degrees C: 9.3 days) and higher T-a(10 degrees C: 8.7 days, 15 degrees C: 5.0 days). Slow wave activity (SWA) during non-rapid-eye-movement (NREM) sleep, an indicator for sleep debt, showed initial high values after torpor at T-a ranging from -5 degrees C to 10 degrees C. When torpid at 15 degrees C, SWA was not increased in the subsequent arousal episode. The data are thus inconsistent with a rate of sleep debt explanation for the temperature dependence of TBD. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-180
Number of pages4
JournalNeuroscience Letters
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 17-Jan-1997


  • sleep
  • hibernation, torpor
  • arousal episode
  • ambient temperature
  • spectral analysis

Cite this