Document Type

Plan B - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biology and Microbiology

First Advisor

Greg Heiberger


Individuals who deal with depression are typically prescribed antidepressants in order to alleviate the depressive symptoms that they may be having. Polysomnographic sleep research has revealed that depression is associated with altered sleep architecture and distorted REM sleep quality.2 Specifically, increased REM sleep duration and density have proved to be markers that predict recurrence and relapse for depressed individuals. REM sleep serves to stimulate regions of the brain that are important with learning and memory consolidation. However, an increased duration of REM sleep in depressed individuals proves to be unfavorable. Antidepressants drugs aim to weaken sleep quality, which is mainly due to increased noradrenergic or dopaminergic neurotransmission and the activation of serotonergic 5-HT2 receptors.4 Therefore, different classes of antidepressants have been developed to dampen REM sleep duration and density. Of course, this must be accomplished without determinantal effects for neuronal signaling within the brain. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (NRI), activating tricyclic antidepressants (TCA), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI), and monoamine oxidase antidepressants (MAOI) are most commonly used in today’s society. Current knowledge about antidepressants and their effects on REM sleep are explored in this review.



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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