Morning naps architecture and mentation recall complexity
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Mentation reports were collected after spontaneous awakenings from morning naps in 18 healthy participants, and associations between sleep stages duration and complexity of recalled mentation were investigated. Participants were continuously recorded with polysomnography and allowed to sleep for a maximum of 2 hr. Mentation reports were classified according to both their complexity (1–6 scale) and their perceived timing of occurrence (Recent or Previous Mentation with respect to the final awakening). The results showed a good level of mentation recall, including different types of mentation with lab-related stimuli. N1 + N2 duration was positively related to the complexity of Previous Mentation recall, while rapid eye movement sleep duration was negatively related. This suggests that the recall of complex mentation, such as dreaming with a plot, occurring far from awakening may depend on the length of N1 + N2. However, the duration of sleep stages did not predict the complexity of Recent Mentation recall. Nevertheless, 80% of participants who recalled Recent Mentation had a rapid eye movement sleep episode. Half of the participants reported incorporating lab-related stimuli in their mentation, which positively correlated with both N1 + N2 and rapid eye movement duration. In conclusion, nap sleep architecture is informative about the complexity of dreams perceived as having occurred early during the sleep episode, but not about those perceived as recent.