The physiological meaning of the sleep is disputing in neuroscience. The phases of sleep are
disputing more so. Most of the scientists consider that NREM phases are already
comprehensible. As to REM phase, it is famous as the most incomprehensible phase and even
assigned an official title “paradoxical phase of the sleep” [1,3].
Scientists are waiting for additional evidences to explain «this most mysterious phase» [1].
We hope that our hypothesis about physiological meaning of the sleep and its phases will
possibly be this missing additional evidence.
We searched for the mistake within the logical chain to explain the given phenomenon.
There are some generally accepted concepts in neurophysiology, which are difficult to be
agreed. For correct understanding of phases, true essence and physiological meaning of sleep
it is necessary to interpret EEG correctly.
At first, we do not think that potentials on EEG can be a total potential of neuron pools,
whether it is surface, or deep registration. The vector electric indignations of intercellular
space are registering during EEG [5]. Neurons are using the extracellular ions for
transmission of electric impulses. The change of extracellular ion compound in sufficient
amount and directivities, is able to become an electric current. The appearing potentials
measured by microvolt. Inward the cells these potentials measured by milivolt. There must
be a plenty of such currents in the cortex, but they have chaotic directions, and sooner will
fade out the electric impulses coming from outside, than produce an electricity itself. During
the conduction of electricity through associative commissural and projective fibers in
intercellular space of white substance can cause extracellular directed currents, which, in our
opinion, are registering during EEG [5]. In case of cortex activation, the appearing
extracellular chaotic indignations are sufficient to fade down the mentioned directed electric
currents. Therefore, the active cortex becomes an electricity-isolating layer in process of EEG
registration. That is why, during EEG the active cortex is expressing by low-amplitude
recording [2,3]. In REM phase, the cortex does not function. However, there are no
potentials in white substance too. All electric processes are terminating at the level of
corpora geniculate and pons. That is why during the EEG registration from the surface of the
brain and subcortical structures, low potentials are registered. Simultaneously, in more deep
floors of the brain electrodes are fixing activation.
At the second, neuronal cells do not generate electricity. Consequently, the neuron pools
cannot generate electricity too. That is why the stating of the question “where is REM sleep
generated?” [1] is not understandable for us. We suppose that electricity is generating in
skeleton muscles, is reaching to reticular and thalamic non-specific nuclei and is
accumulating there. These nuclei are bio accumulators and the process, probably, requires
certain conditions. Otherwise, this condition is calling sleep.
Practically, we think that the only physiological meaning of the sleep is the process of
charging of bio accumulators by electricity [4,5]. This process is not simple… but not difficult

as well. It takes place by phases. We suppose that in one of the phases all electricity moves to
accumulators and completely stops afferent and efferent impulsion. Perhaps this is REM
Consequently, REM phase is the most orthodox phase of the sleep, when above pons all 95
percent of the central nervous system is in rest. It is incomprehensible, why scientists
consider unchallengeable the fact that there is center, which is generating REM phase of
sleep. They argue about localizations and spreading of such center [1]. We suppose that it is
not truth. It is necessary to search for the mechanisms that switch off the higher floors of the
The titles of this sleep phase “paradoxical sleep”, “desynchronized sleep”, “active sleep”,
“dream sleep” and “REM sleep” do not correspond to the true essence of the process. This
phase is not paradoxical, low waves are not desynchronized, uncontrolled movement of eye
and other muscles sooner indicates on passivity of the brain, than activity, it is doubtful that
in case of total unhooking of sub cortex and cortex is possible appearance of dreams, rapid
movement of eyes is not a composite part of the phase, but accompanying process. We
suggest naming this phase simply «the phase of deep sleep».
Maybe we fall into another realm of speculation. The incomprehensible and paradoxical
phenomena gained in result of the studies of authors are mostly explained by our suggestions
and approaches as a clue to English lock. That is why these suggestions require a thorough
The explanation of sleep phases and physiological meaning of the sleep in the light of our
hypothesis about the true nature of EEG waves genesis, perhaps will explain a plenty of now
existing paradoxes in neuroscience too.