Objective and subjective measures of prior sleep–wake behavior predict functional connectivity in the default mode network during NREM sleep

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Introduction: Prior sleep behavior has been shown to correlate with waking resting‐state functional connectivity (FC) in the default mode network (DMN). However, the impact of sleep history on FC during sleep has not been investigated. The aim of this study was to establish whether there is an association between intersubject variability in habitual sleep behaviors and the strength of FC within the regions of the DMN during non‐rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep.

Methods: Wrist actigraphy and sleep questionnaires were used as objective and subjective measures of habitual sleep behavior, and EEG‐functional MRI during NREM sleep was used to quantify sleep.

Results: There was a significant, regionally specific association between the interindividual variability in objective (total sleep time on the night before scanning) and subjective (Insomnia Severity Index) measures of prior sleep–wake behavior and the strength of DMN FC during subsequent wakefulness and NREM sleep. In several cases, FC was related to sleep measures independently of sleep stage, suggesting that previous sleep history effects sleep FC globally across the stages.

Conclusions: This work highlights the need to consider a subject's prior sleep history in studies utilizing FC analysis during wakefulness and sleep, and indicates the complexity of the impact of sleep on the brain both in the short and long term.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01172
Number of pages9
JournalBrain and Behavior
Issue number1
Early online date4 Dec 2018
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2019


  • default mode network, functional connectivity, functional MRI, habitual sleep behavior, sleep