Sleep Research

Sleep has been of interest for many centuries as most species participate in the act of sleeping. Studies of sleeping animals have increased our knowledge of the basic mechanisms and revealed that impaired sleep quality increases the chance of developing cardiovascular, neurological, and metabolic disorders. 

Commonly Studied Sleep Disorders

  • Insomnia
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Shift Work
  • Hypersomnia
  • Restless Leg Syndrome
  • Jet Lag
  • Narcolepsy

Commonly Used Species in Sleep Research

Mouse Silhouette






non-human primate

Nonhuman Primates


 DSI Solutions are Trusted by Sleep Researchers
to Get Meaningful Results from Their Studies

Research with animal models has led to a better understanding of sleep disorders and provided new
insights that can enable us to understand human sleep and to develop effective treatments. DSI offers
a wide range of validated physiological monitoring solutions to fit researcher needs during the many
stages of their research. Our robust solutions for data acquisition and analysis in chronic sleep studies
cover small to large animal species ranging from hardwired restrained techniques, to industry leading
fully implantable and unrestrained technology.

Click on a research area below to learn more about endpoints of interest collected in sleep studies.


Electroencephalogram (EEG) is the most commonly used tool in sleep research. EEG detects changes in electrical signals from the brain, in real-time, for analysis of sleep stages. Electromyogram (EMG) or Electrooculogram (EOG) can be combined with EEG to detect muscle tone and eye movement, respectively, to add additional validity ot the observations. According to the frequency contents of EMG/EOG muscular activities, the sleep stages can be subdivided between rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-REM sleep
(light and slow wave sleep). 

Common Endpoints

Frequency Bands - Alpha, Beta, Delta, Theta


Electromyogram (EMG) - Muscle Movement



Google Scholar Indexes 608 Publications Citing DSI, Sleep and EEG


During a majority of sleep, respiration is regular with noted decreases in rate and minute volume when compared to wakefulness. The exception to this is during REM sleep when shallow, irregular, and increased breathing patterns occur. Researchers study basic respiratory mechanisms of sleep, as well as sleeping related disorders, to gain a better understanding of respiratory function during different sleep stages. One commonly studied disorder is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) which causes a decrease in muscle tone in the upper airway, leading to reduced oxygenation during sleep. OSA has been linked to disorders of the cardiovascular, metabolic, and endocrine systems. In addition, many neurological disorders, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, and movement disorders have been shown to cause respiratory complications during sleep. Researchers can use restrained or unrestrained techniques, depending on their model, to acquire a variety of respiratory endpoints in their sleep studies.

Common Endpoints

Breathing Frequency

Inspiratory and Expiratory Duration

Peak Airflow Rates

Specific Airway Resistance

Volume and Functional Residual Capacity

Respiratory Muscle Function


Google Scholar Indexes 605 Publications Citing Buxco and Sleep


Sleeping too little, too much, or irregular sleeping patterns have all been linked to having a negative effect on cardiovascular function. One theory is that dysfunctional sleep can activate an inflammatory response, increasing a persons risk of coronary artery disease, hypertension, myocardial infarction, and stroke. With cardiovascular disease being the number one cause of death in the world, researchers are using animal models to better understand the link between sleep and cardiovascular function.

Common Endpoints

Mean Arterial Pressure

Heart Rate

Pulmonary Blood Pressure


Google Scholar Indexes 329 Publications Citing DSI, Seizure and EEG

Circadian Rhythm

Circadian rhythm is an important component of mammalian physiology and plays a large role in sleep-wake cycles, core body temperature, hormone balance, and eating patterns. Disturbances with circadian rhythm can be seen in those that experience jet lag, shift work, and certain medical conditions. Researchers look at the cardiovascular system, core body temperature, glucose levels, behavior, and sleeping patterns to evaluate circadian rhythm and the effects of alterations to normal rhythms. 

Common Endpoints

Activity and Behavior

Fasting/Feeding Cycles


Glucose Levels 

Blood Pressure 


EEG/EMG for Sleep

*Behavioral solutions are available from our Harvard Bioscience sister brands Panlab and Coulbourn Instruments. Reach out to us to learn more about how to incorporate these solutions into your current research set-up.

Google Scholar Indexes 856 Publications Citing DSI and Circadian Rhythm


Highlighted Publications and References

Ashley, Noah T., et al. "Photoperiod alters duration and intensity of non-rapid eye movement sleep following immune challenge in Siberian hamsters (Phodopus sungorus)." Chronobiology International, 29.6 (2012): 683-692.

Authier, S., et al. "Video-electroencephalography in conscious non human primate using radiotelemetry and computerized analysis: refinement of a safety pharmacology model." Journal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods, 60.1 (2009): 88-93.

Crofts, H. S., et al. "Investigation of the sleep electrocorticogram of the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) using radiotelemetry." Clinical Neurophysiology, 112.12 (2001): 2265-2273.

Bastlund, Jesper F., et al. "Spontaneous epileptic rats show changes in sleep architecture and hypothalamic pathology." Epilepsia 46.6 (2005): 934-938.

Datta, Subimal, and Robert Ross MacLean. "Neurobiological mechanisms for the regulation of mammalian sleep–wake behavior: reinterpretation of historical evidence and inclusion of contemporary cellular and molecular evidence." Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews,31.5 (2007): 775-824.

Hadjimarkou MM, Benham R, Schwarz JM, Holder MK, Mong JA.  Estradiol suppresses rapid eye movement sleep and activation of sleep-active neurons in the ventrolateral preoptic area.  European Journal of Neuroscience 2008; 27: 1780-1792.

Horner RL Brooks D Kozer LF Leung E Hamrahi H Render-Teixeira CL/ Makin H Kimoff RJ Phillipson EA Sleep architecture in a canine model of obstructive sleep apnea Journal of Sleep and Sleep Disorders Research 1998; 21: 791-934

Ivarsson M, Paterson LM, Hutson PH.  Antidepressants and REM sleep in Wistar-Kyoto and Sprague-Dawley rats.  European Journal of Pharmacology 2005; 522: 63-71.

Mavanji, Vijayakumar, et al. "Elevated sleep quality and orexin receptor mRNA in obesity-resistant rats." International Journal of Obesity 34.11 (2010): 1576-1588.

Morairty SR, Hedley L, Flores J,  Martin R, Kilduff TS.  Selective 5HT2A and 5HT6 Receptor Antagonists Promote Sleep in Rats. SLEEP 2008; 31: 34-44. 

Morrow JD and Opp MR. Sleep-wake behavior and responses of interleukin-6-deficient mice to sleep deprivation. Brain, Behavior and Immunity 2005; 19 1: 28-39.

Olviadoti MD, Opp MR.  Effects of I.C.V. administration of interleukin-1 on sleep and body temperature of interleukin-6-deficient mice.  Neuroscience 2008; 153: 338-348.

Tang X, Sanford LD.  Telemetric Recording of Sleep and Home Cage Activity in Mice.  SLEEP 2002; 25: 677-685.

Wisor JP, Schmidt MA, Clegern WC. Cerebral microglia mediate sleep/wake and neuroinflammatory effects of methamphetamine. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 25 (2011) 767–776.

The above list contains the most widely used definitions of the frequency bands. However, exact band limits may differ slightly between laboratories, species or protocols.