• Sudhansu ChokrovertyEmail author
  • Michel Billiard


The evolution of history of sleep medicine from the antiquity to modern time is a fascinating reading. Since the dawn of civilization, sleep has fascinated and inspired religious scholars, poets, philosophers, playwrights, artists, historians, and scientists as reflected in numerous mythological, poetic, dramatic, and scientific writings.


Sleep medicine 


  1. 1.
    Borbely A. Secrets of sleep. New York: Basic Books; 1984.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Wolpert S. A new history of India. New York: Oxford University Press; 1982. p. 48.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Urandg L, Ruffner FG Jr., editors. Allusions-cultural literary, biblical and historical: a thematic dictionary. Detroit: Gale; 1986.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Thorpy M. History of sleep medicine. In: Montagna P, Chokroverty S, editors. Handbook of clinical neurology: sleep disorders, part 1, vol. 98 (3rd series), Amsterdam: Elsevier; 2011. pp. 3–25.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bahamman AS, Gozal D. Qur’anic insights into sleep. Nat Sci Sleep. 2012;4:81–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ishimori K. True causes of sleep—a hypnogenic substance as evidenced in the brain of sleep-deprived animals. Igakkai Zasshi (Tokyo). 1909;23:429.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Legendre R, Pieron H. Recherches sur le besoin de sommeil consecutif a une veille prolongée. Z Allerg Physiol. 1913;14:235.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Berger H. Uber das Elektroenkephalogramm des Menschen. Arch Psychiatr Nervenber. 1929;87:527.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kohlschutter E. Messungen der Festigkeit des Schlafes. Z ration Med. 1862;17:209–53.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Loomis AL, Harvey EN, Hobart GA. Cerebral states during sleep, as studied by human brain potentials. J Exp Physiol. 1937;21:127.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Aserinsky E, Kleitman N. Regularly occurring periods of eye motility and concomitant phenomena during sleep. Science. 1953;118:273.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Jouvet, M, Michel F. Correlatios electromyographique du sommeil chez le chat decortique et mesencephalique chronique. CR Soc Bil (Paris). 1959;153:422–5.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Berger RJ. Tonus of extrinsic laryngeal muscles during sleep and dreaming. Science. 1961;134:840.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Pessah M, Roffwarg H. Spontaneous middle ear muscle activity in man: a rapid eye movement sleep phenomenon. Science. 1972;178:773–776.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Rechtschaffen A, Molinari S, Watson R, Wincor MZ. Extra-ocular potentials: a possible indicator of PGO activity in the human. Psychophysiology. 1970;7:336.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Chokroverty S. Phasic tongue movements in human rapid-eye-movement sleep. Neurology. 1980;30:665–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Griesinger W. Berliner medizinich-psycologische Gesellschaft. Arch Psychiatr Nervenkr. 1868;1:200–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ladd GT. Contribution to the psychology of visual dreams. Mind. 1892;1:299–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Jacobson E. Electrical measurements of neuromuscular states during mental activities. III. Visual imagination and recollection. AM J Physiol. 1930;95:694–702.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Freud S. Die Traumdeutung. Liepzig: Franz Deuticke; 1900. (The interpretation of dreams, translated by James Strachey. New York: Basic Books; 1955).Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Dement W, Kleitman N. Cyclic variations in EEG during sleep and their relation to eye movements, body motility, and dreaming. Electroencephlogr Clin Neurphysiol. 1957;9:673.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Rechtschaffen A, Kales A. A manual of standardized terminology, techniques and scoring systems for sleep stages of human subjects. Los Angeles: UCLA Brain Information Service/Brain Research Institute, Techniques and Scoring Systems for Sleep Stages of Human Subjects; 1968.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    The AASM Manual 2007 for the scoring of sleep and associated events. Rules, terminology and technical specifications. American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Westchester, IL, USA, 2007.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Mc William JA. Some applications of physiology to medicine. III. Blood pressure and heart action in sleep and dreams. Br Med J. 1920;II:1196–200.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    McWilliam JA. Some applications of physiology to medicine. III. Blood pressure and heart action in sleep and dreams: their relation to hemorrhages, angina and sudden death. Brit Med J. 1923;II:1196–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    von Economo C. Sleep as a problem of localization. J Nerve Ment Dis. 1930;71:249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Kleitman N. Sleep and wakefulness. Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 1939.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Bremer F. Cerveau “isole” et physiologie du sommeil. C R Soc Biol. 1935;118:1235.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Moruzzi G, Magoun H. Brainstem reticular formation and activation of the EEG. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol. 1949;1:455–73.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Battini C, Magni F, Paletini M, Rossi GF, Zanchetti M. Neuronal mechanisms underlying EEG and behavioral activation in the midpontine pretigeminal cat. Arch Ital Biol. 1959;97:13–25.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Saper CB, Scammell TE, Lun J. Hypothalamic regulation of sleep and circadian rhythms. Nature. 2005;437:1257–63.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    McCartey RW, Hobson JA. Neuronal excitability modulation over the sleep cycle: a structural and mathematical model. Science. 1975;189:58–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Lu J, Sherman D, Devor M, Saper CB. A putative flip-flop switch for control of REM sleep. Nature. 2006;441:589–94.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Luppi PH, Clement O, Sapin E, et al. The neuronal network responsible for paradoxical sleep and its dysfunction causing narcolepsy and rapid eye movement (REM) behavior disorder. Sleep Med Rev. 2011;15:153–63.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Herman J. An instance of sleep paralysis in Moby-Dick. Sleep. 1997;20:577–9.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Weir Mitchell S. Some disorders of sleep. AM J Med Sci. 1890;100:190–227.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Iranzo A, Santamaria J, de Riquer M. Sleep and sleep disorders in Don Quixote. Sleep Med. 2004;5:97–100.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Schenck CH, Bundlie SR, Ettinger MG, Mahowald MW. Chronic behavioral disorders in human sleep: a new category of parasomnia. Sleep. 1986;9:293–308.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Dickens C. The posthumous papers of the pickwick club. London: Chapman and Hall; 1837.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Burwell CS, Robin ED, Wahley RD, Bickelmann AG. Extreme obesity with alve-olar hypoventilation: a Pickwickian syndrome. Am J Med. 1956;21:811–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Comroe JH Jr. Frankenstein, Pickwick and Ondine. AM Rev Respir Dis. 1975;111:689–92.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Lavie P. Who was the first to use the term Pickwickian in connection with sleepy patients? History of sleep apnea syndrome. Sleep Med Rev. 2008;12:5–17.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Auchincloss JH Jr., Cook E, Renzetti AD. Clinical and physiolgical aspects of a case of obesity, polycythemia and alveolar hypoventilation. J Clin Invest. 1955;34:1537–45.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Sieker HO, Estes EW Jr., Kesler GA, Mcintoch HAD. Cardiopulmonary syndrome associated with extreme obesity. J Clin Invest. 1955;34:1955.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Osler W. The principles and practice of medicine. New York: Appleton; 1906.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Gerardy W, Herberg D, Khun HM. Vergleichende Untersuchungen der Lungenfunktion und des Elektroencephalogramms bei zwei Patienten mit Pickwickian Syndrome. Z Klin Med. 1960;156:362–80.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Drachman DB, Gumnit RJ. Periodic alteration of consciousness in the Pickwickian syndrome. Arch Neurol. 1962;6:471–7.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Jung R, Kuhlo W. Neurophysiological studies of abnormal night sleep and the Pickwickian syndrome. In: Albert K, Baly C, Stradl JP, editors. Sleep mechanisms. Amsterdam: Elsevier; 1965. pp. 140–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Gastaut H, Tassinari CA, Duron B. Etude polygraphique des manifestations, episodiques (hypniques et respiratoires) du syndrome de Pickwick. Rev Neurol. 1965;112:568–79.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Lugaresi E, Coccagna G, Tassinari GA, Ambrosetto C. Particularites cliniques et polygraphiques du syndrome d’impatience des members inferieurs. Rev Neurol. 1965;113:545.Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    Kuhlo W, Doll E, Franck MC. Erfolgreiche Behandlung eines Pickwick-syndromes durch eine Dauertrachealkanule. Deut Med Wochenschr. 1969;94:1286–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Chokroverty S. Hypoventilation syndrome and obesity: a polygraphic study. Trans Am Neurol Assoc. 1969;94:240–2.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Guilleminault C, Eldridge FL, Dement CW. Insomnia with sleep apnea: a new syndrome. Science. 1973;181:856–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Guilleminault C, Dement WC. Two hundred and thirty-five cases of excessive daytime sleepiness. Diagnosis and tentative classification. J Neurol Sci. 1977;31:13–27.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Guilleminault C, Tilkian A, Dement WC. The sleep apnea syndrome. Annu Rev Med. 1976;27:465–84.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Sullivan CE, Berthon-Jones M, Issa FG, et al. Reversal of obstructive sleep apnea by continuous positive airway pressure applied through nose. Lancet. 1981;1:862–5.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Fujita S, Conway W, Zorick F, Roth T. Surgical-correction of anatomic abnormalities in sleep-apnea syndrome-uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. Otolaryngol-Head Neck Surg. 1981;89:923–34.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  58. 58.
    Severinghaus JW, Mitchell RA. Ondine’s curse-failure of respiratory automaticity while awake. Clin Res. 1962;10:122.Google Scholar
  59. 59.
    Gelineau J. De la narcolepsie. Gaz des Hop (Paris). 1880;53:535–637.Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    Westpal C. Eigenthumlich mit einschlafen verbundene Anfalle. Arch Psychiatr Nervenkr. 1877;7:631–5.Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    Broughton RJ. Narcolepsy. In: Thorpy MJ, editor. Handbook of sleep disorders. New York: Marcel Dekker; 1990. pp. 197–216.Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    Yoss RE, Daly DD. Criteria for the diagnosis of the narcolepsy syndrome. Proc May Clin. 1957;3:320–8.Google Scholar
  63. 63.
    Vogel G. Studies in psychophysiology of dreams III. The dream of narcolepsy. Arc Gen Psychiatry. 1960;3:421–8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Richardson G, Carskadon M, Flagg W, van den Hoed J, Dement W, Mitler M. Excessive daytime sleepiness in man: multiple sleep measurement in narcolepsy and control subjects. Electroencephalogr Clin Nuerophysiol. 1978;45:621–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. 65.
    Juji T, Satake M, Honda Y, Doi Y. HLA antigens in Japanese patients with narcolepsy: all the patients were DR2 positive. Tissue Antigens. 1984;24:316–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    DeLecea L, Kilduff TS, Peyron C, et al. The hypocretins: hypothalamus-specific peptides with neuroexcitatory activity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998;95:322–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. 67.
    Sakurai T, Amemiya A, Ishii M, et al. Orexins and orexin receptors: a family of hypothalamic neuropeptides and G protein-coupled receptors that regulate feeding behavior. Cell. 1998;92:573–85.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Lin L, Faraco J, Li R, et al. The sleep disorder canine narcolepsy is caused by a mutation in the hypocretin (orexin) receptor 2 gene. Cell. 1999;98:365–376.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    Chemelly RM, Willie JT, Sinton CM, et al. Narcolepsy in orexin knockout mice: molecular genetics of sleep regulation. Cell. 1999;98:437–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. 70.
    Hara J, Beuckmann CT, Nambu T, et al. Genetic ablation of orexin neurons in mice results in narcolepsy, hypophagia, and obesity. Neuron. 2001;30:345–54.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  71. 71.
    Thannical TC, Moore RY, Nienhuis R, et al. Reduced number of hypocretin neurons in human narcolepsy. Neuron. 2000;27:469–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. 72.
    Peyron C, Faraco J, Rogers W, Ripley B, Overeem S, Charnay Y, et al. A mutation in a case of early onset narcolepsy and a generalized absence of hypocretin peptides in human narcoleptic brains. Nat Med. 2000;6:991–1007.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.JFK New Jersey Neuroscience InstituteEdisonUSA
  2. 2.School of Medicine, University Montpellier IMontpellierFrance
  3. 3.Department of Neurology, Gui de Chauliac HospitalMontpellierFrance

Personalised recommendations