Eight actively ill schizophrenics and eight nonpsychotic controls were deprived of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep by the awakening method for two nights. Sleep patterns during five postdeprivation nights were analyzed by a variety of univariate and multivariate techniques.
Data suggest that actively ill schizophrenics are less likely than control psychiatric patients to exhibit a normal REM rebound. They require fewer awakenings than controls to achieve REM deprivation. They show little or no change in REM time or REM% during recovery as compared with base line, and, compared with controls, have significantly less REM time, REM%, and change in REM time and REM% on early postdeprivation nights.
The two patient groups also differed in their pattern of stages III and IV during recovery. Considerable overlap existed in REM compensation between actively ill schizophrenics and controls. Additional information suggests that REM compensation may be related to Rod and Frame testing: the more field independent a subject is, the better REM compensator he is.