‘Goldilocks’ neurons promote REM sleep

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It has been a mystery why REM sleep, or dream sleep, increases when the room temperature is ‘just right’. Neuroscientists show that melanin-concentrating hormone neurons within the hypothalamus increase REM sleep when the need for body temperature defense is minimized, such as when sleeping in a warm and comfortable room temperature. These data have important implications for the function of REM sleep.

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