Dim light at night does not disrupt timing or quality of sleep in mice

Borniger, J. C., Weil, Z. M., Zhang, N., Nelson, R. J. (October 2013) Dim light at night does not disrupt timing or quality of sleep in mice. Chronobiol Int, 30 (8). pp. 1016-23. ISSN 1525-6073 (Electronic)0742-0528 (Linking)

URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23837748
DOI: 10.3109/07420528.2013.803196


Artificial nighttime illumination has recently become commonplace throughout the world; however, in common with other animals, humans have not evolved in the ecological context of chronic light at night. With prevailing evidence linking the circadian, endocrine, immune, and metabolic systems, understanding these relationships is important to understanding the etiology and progression of several diseases. To eliminate the covariate of sleep disruption in light at night studies, researchers often use nocturnal animals. However, the assumption that light at night does not affect sleep in nocturnal animals remains unspecified. To test the effects of light at night on sleep, we maintained Swiss-Webster mice in standard light/dark (LD) or dim light at night (DLAN) conditions for 8-10 wks and then measured electroencephalogram (EEG) and electromyogram (EMG) biopotentials via wireless telemetry over the course of two consecutive days to determine differences in sleep timing and homeostasis. Results show no statistical differences in total percent time, number of episodes, maximum or average episode durations in wake, slow-wave sleep (SWS), or rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. No differences were evident in SWS delta power, an index of sleep drive, between groups. Mice kept in DLAN conditions showed a relative increase in REM sleep during the first few hours after the dark/light transition. Both groups displayed normal 24-h circadian rhythms as measured by voluntary running wheel activity. Groups did not differ in body mass, but a marked negative correlation of body mass with percent time spent awake and a positive correlation of body mass with time spent in SWS was evident. Elevated body mass was also associated with shorter maximum wake episode durations, indicating heavier animals had more trouble remaining in the wake vigilance state for extended periods of time. Body mass did not correlate with activity levels, nor did activity levels correlate with time spent in different sleep states. These data indicate that heavier animals tend to sleep more, potentially contributing to further weight gain. We conclude that chronic DLAN exposure does not significantly affect sleep timing or homeostasis in mice, supporting the use of dim light with nocturnal rodents in chronobiology research to eliminate the possible covariate of sleep disruption.

Item Type: Paper
Subjects: organism description > animal behavior > REM sleep
organs, tissues, organelles, cell types and functions > tissues types and functions > biological clock
organism description > animal > mammal > rodent > mouse
CSHL Authors:
Communities: CSHL labs > Borniger lab
Depositing User: Adrian Gomez
Date: October 2013
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2020 14:17
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2020 14:17
Related URLs:
URI: https://repository.cshl.edu/id/eprint/38861

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