Feeling awake while asleep: a high-density EEG assessment of sleep perception

by Sandro Lecci

Francesca Siclari’s lab, CHUV Lausanne

In recent years it has been shown that sleep is not a uniform state but instead occurs and is regulated at the local level. In contrast to conventional EEG, high-density EEG recordings provide an increased spatial resolution and are particularly well suited to study local aspects of cortical brain activity. Here we took advantage of this technique, which we combined with a serial awakening paradigm, to investigate whether patients with paradoxical insomnia, who frequently feel awake during polysomnographically documented sleep, present locally restricted alterations in brain activity that may account for their sleep misperception. Understanding the mechanisms behind the perception of wakefulness and sleep may open doors for potential treatments aiming at improving sleep quality in insomnia patients.