Neurobiology of Sleep-Wakefulness Cycle 2(1): 21-26, 2002
Printed in Georgia. All rights reserved.
2002 NSWC

SLEEP: WHAT IT IS? (ON DEFINITION OF THE NOTION)

V.I. Maloletnev

Department of Human Psychophysiology, I.S. Beritashvili Institute of Physiology, Georgian Academy of Sciences, Tbilisi

Accepted in revised form 5 March 2002; recieved 9 January 2002.

Summary

It is assumed that the biological function of sleep is to compensate the limitation imposed by internal properties underlying the principle of chemical synaptic transmission (as high sensitivity to changes of ionic gradients, limited supplies of the mediator accessible to discharge, tendency toward synaptic depression etc.) and provide the reliability of the synaptic apparatus of CNS neural networks. This function is performed by slow wave fraction of sleep which, depending on conditions, can be triggered by switch-on the internal (microsleep or essential sleep) or external (normal physiological or preventive sleep) contours of the CNS mechanisms of self-regulation.

Key Words: slow wave sleep, biological function, synaptic transmission, self-regulation.


Correspondence: Maloletnev Victor, Prof.,
Department of ,
I.S. Beritashvili Institute of Physiology, Georgian Academy of Sciences,
14, L. Gotua str., Tbilisi, 380060, Georgia.
E-mail: nswc@gateway.ge