Sleep oscillations and aging
Neuronal Oscillations of Wakefulness and Sleep: Windows on Spontaneous Activity of the Brain
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Human sleep can be broadly categorized as rapid eye movement (REM) and non-REM (NREM) sleep according to the electrophysiological features and oscillations that characterize these distinct states. The most dramatic changes that occur to sleep are observed over the course of the life span. With aging, the neural oscillations of sleep may provide insight into the physiological changes that accompany aging, may signal poor health and pathology, and explain functional changes in daytime performance, learning, and memory. This review will discuss the age-related changes that occur to the neural oscillations that characterize sleep states, such as sleep spindles, k-complexes, slow waves, and REM-related neural activity. The physiological processes that underlie these changes and the functional significance of the age-related changes in sleep are discussed.