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Selective REM-Sleep Suppression Increases Next-Day Negative Affect and Amygdala Responses to Social Exclusion

By Robert W Glosemeyer, Susanne Diekelmann, Werner Cassel, Karl Kesper, Ulrich Koehler, Stefan Westermann, Armin Steffen, Stefan Borgwardt, Ines Wilhelm, Laura Müller-Pinzler, Frieder M Paulus, Sören Krach, David S. Stolz

Posted 16 Jun 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.06.15.148759

Healthy sleep, positive general affect, and the ability to regulate emotional experiences are fundamental for well-being. In contrast, various mental disorders are associated with altered rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, negative affect, and diminished emotion regulation abilities. However, the neural processes mediating the relationship between these different phenomena are still not fully understood. In the present study of 42 healthy volunteers, we investigated the effects of selective REM sleep suppression (REMS) on general affect, as well as on feelings of social exclusion, emotion regulation, and their neural underpinnings. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging we show that REMS increases amygdala responses to experimental social exclusion, as well as negative affect on the morning following sleep deprivation. There was no evidence that emotional responses to experimentally induced social exclusion or their regulation using cognitive reappraisal were impacted by diminished REM sleep. Our findings indicate that general affect and amygdala activity depend on REM sleep, while specific emotional experiences possibly rely on additional psychological processes and neural systems that are less readily influenced by REMS. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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