The Adrenergic Influence on Sleep Stage Shifting in High-Endurance Athletes After Exercise

  • Nikolaus C. Netzer
  • Hartmut Steinle
  • Kingman P. Strohl
  • Manfred Lehmann


The sleep of humans and animals is influenced by environmental and inner organic circumstances like the sunlight and circadian rythms of hormones. Sleep by itself can be divided in phases of REM (Rapid Eye Movement)- and Non-REM sleep. Both sleep phases influence physical parameters as heartrate, blood pressure, muscle tension and they seem to be both essential for the organism. The change of sleep phases is centrally controled in the brain. But at present no single population of neurons and no single transmitter can be made responsible for the control of REM- and Non-REM-sleep. Research of the last three decades however could show that neurons in the gigantic cellular field (FTG) in the pons mainly control REM-Sleep. This part of the brain has mainly cholinoceptive receptors and cholinergic transmitters like carbachol can enforce REM-sleep and anticholinergic substances like atropin can suppress REM-sleep.Unlike cholinergic substances the influence of adrenergic and monoaminercig substances in sleep control could not be proven on a neuronal level. However since several years some authors postulate the influence of aminergic substances in sleep control. One of their arguments is the strong relation of respiratory neurons and sleep neurons in the same area of the brain and for respiratory neurons the parasympathic as well as the sympathic influence is proven.


Maximal Exercise Sleep Stage Total Sleep Time Catecholamine Level Respiratory Neuron 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nikolaus C. Netzer
    • 1
  • Hartmut Steinle
    • 1
  • Kingman P. Strohl
    • 2
  • Manfred Lehmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Sportsmedicine and Rehabilitation Medical CenterUniversity Hospitals UlmUlmGermany
  2. 2.Sleep Research CenterCase Western Reserve UniversityCleveland

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