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Sleep spindle

sleep spindles and k complexes, sleep spindle
A sleep spindle is a burst of oscillatory brain activity visible on an EEG that occurs during stage 2 sleep It consists of 12–14 Hz waves that occur for at least 05 seconds12 Sleep spindles are generated in the reticular nucleus of the thalamus


Sleep spindles sometimes referred to as "sigma bands" or "sigma waves" may represent periods where the brain is inhibiting processing to keep the sleeper in a tranquil state Along with K-complexes they are defining characteristics of, and indicate the onset of, stage 2 sleep They are often tapered at both ends and frequently seen over the frontal and central head regions They may or may not be synchronous, but they should be symmetrical and bilateral

During sleep these spindles are seen in the brain as a burst of activity immediately following muscle twitching Researchers think the brain, particularly in the young, is learning about what nerves control what specific muscles when asleep34

Spindles generated in the thalamus have been shown to aid sleeping in the presence of disruptive external sounds A correlation has been found between the amount of brainwave activity in the thalamus and a sleeper's ability to maintain tranquility5

Sleep spindles result from interactions between cells in the thalamus and the cortex

Sleep spindle activity has furthermore been found to be associated with the integration of new information into existing knowledge6 as well as directed remembering and forgetting fast sleep spindles7

During NREM sleep, the brain waves produced by people with schizophrenia lack the normal pattern of slow and fast spindles8 Loss of sleep spindles are also a feature of familial fatal insomnia, a prion disease9


  1. ^ Rechtschaffen, A; Kales, A 1968 A Manual of Standardized Terminology, Techniques and Scoring System For Sleep Stages of Human Subjects US Dept of Health, Education, and Welfare; National Institutes of Health
  2. ^ De Gennaro, L; Ferrara, M 2003 Sleep spindles: an overview Sleep medicine reviews, 75, 423–440
  3. ^ "To sleep, perchance to twitch"
  4. ^ "Wiring your brain at college – a new perspective on sleep"
  5. ^ Thien Thanh Dang-Vu, Scott M McKinney, Orfeu M Buxton, Jo M Solet, Jeffrey M Ellenbogen Spontaneous brain rhythms predict sleep stability in the face of noise Current Biology - 10 August 2010 Vol 20, Issue 15, pp R626-R627
  6. ^ Tamminen, J; Payne, JD; Stickgold, R; Wamsley, EJ; Gareth Gaskell, M 2010 Sleep spindle activity is associated with the integration of new memories and existing knowledge The Journal of Neuroscience, 3043, 14356–60
  7. ^ Saletin, JM; Goldstein, AN; Walker, MP 2011 The Role of Sleep in Directed Forgetting and Remembering of Human memories Cerebral Cortex, 21, 2534–2541
  8. ^ Ferrarelli, F; Huber, R; Peterson, MJ; Massimini, M; Murphy, M; Riedner, BA; Watson, A; Bria, P; Tononi, G 2007 Reduced Sleep Spindle Activity in Schizophrenia Patients The American Journal of Psychiatry, 164, A62
  9. ^ Niedermeyer E, Ribiero M Considerations of nonconvulsive status epilepticus Clin Electroencephalogr 2000; 31: 192-195

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Sleep spindle

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    Sleep spindle beatiful post thanks!


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