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The objectives of this review are to examine and integrate existing empirical evidence regarding the impact of slow-wave sleep (SWS) modulation on memory and executive function performance in individuals with psychiatric disorders, and to examine the feasibility of integrating SWS modulation into psychiatric care. SWS modulation in individuals with psychiatric disorders resulted in changes to SWS across multiple psychiatric disorders, using all stimulation methods. SWS stimulation was associated with improved cognitive performance. SWS modulation using acoustic stimulation resulted in improved cognitive performance in children with ADHD, and the use of transcranial stimulation was associated with improved cognitive performance in individuals with mild cognitive impairment. Significant relationships between changes in SWS and cognitive improvement were found for individual with mild cognitive impairment following the use of acoustic or transcranial stimulation night. Our review reveals partial support to the potential efficacy of SWS modulation as a transdiagnostic intervention that uses sleep to improve cognitive functions of individuals diagnosed with psychiatric disorders and cognitive deficits. It further highlights multiple barriers pertaining to the feasibility of integrating SWS modulation into clinical practice and proposes ways to improve it.


Samantha Scholes, J A Santisteban, Yujie Zhang, Armando Bertone, Reut Gruber. Modulation of Slow-Wave Sleep: Implications for Psychiatry. Current psychiatry reports. 2020 Jul 24;22(10):52

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PMID: 32710222

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