slow-wave sleep

noun

Definition of slow-wave sleep

: the phase of non-REM sleep marked by the deepest sleep and the highest levels of delta wave activity with brain and muscle activity significantly reduced, loss of response to external stimuli greatest, and with heart rate and respiration at lowest levels

Note: Sleep time spent in slow-wave sleep is of longer duration during infancy and childhood.

Deep, or slow-wave sleep, when the body secretes human growth hormone, is critical for development and physical repair.— Melinda Beck Members of a second group were awakened every time they entered slow-wave sleep, a stage when dreams tend not to occur.— Sandra Blakeslee abbreviation SWS

Examples of slow-wave sleep in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Video gaming has been linked to declines in verbal memory and restorative slow-wave sleep in school-aged children, but it has also been shown to improve motor performance and spatial abilities. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Not all screen time causes kids to underperform in school, study says," 23 Sep. 2019 The brain generates two distinct types of sleep—slow-wave sleep (SWS), known as deep sleep, and rapid eye movement (REM), also called dreaming sleep. Scientific American, "What Happens in the Brain During Sleep?," 1 Sep. 2015 Mednick said subjects on the drug typically would lose out on slow-wave sleep, or deep sleep, which is related to memory consolidation and physical and mental restoration. Lilly Nguyen, Daily Pilot, "Non-prescribed stimulants may improve short-term focus but fail users in the long run, UCI researchers say," 10 Sep. 2019 One study, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, found that participants with a higher intake of fiber and lower consumption of sugar and saturated fat spent more time in restorative, slow-wave sleep. Cynthia Sass, Mph, Health.com, "7 Healthy Late-Night Snacks," 3 July 2019 Those awakened from slow-wave sleep are groggy and disoriented. Carl Zimmer, New York Times, "Hot Heads: Why Mammals Need R.E.M. Sleep," 7 June 2018 Next, participants slept in the lab, and the experimenters waited until the deepest stage of sleep (slow-wave sleep) to once again expose them to the odour. Sadie Witkowski, Smithsonian, "Sleep-Learning Was a Myth, But You Could Strengthen Memories While You Snooze," 16 Feb. 2018 Of particular note: The deep, almost ethereal bass tones meant to promote slow-wave sleep, a phase that’s responsible for consolidating memory and learning as brain waves oscillate at the supremely mellow frequency of 10Hz. Corey Seymour, Vogue, "Max Richter’s Eight-Hour Ambient Piece Will Put You To Sleep—Actually, That’s The Whole Point," 30 Mar. 2018 This worked only if they had been exposed to the rose odour during learning, and had smelled it during slow-wave sleep. Sadie Witkowski, Smithsonian, "Sleep-Learning Was a Myth, But You Could Strengthen Memories While You Snooze," 16 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'slow-wave sleep.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of slow-wave sleep

1964, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about slow-wave sleep

Time Traveler for slow-wave sleep

Time Traveler

The first known use of slow-wave sleep was in 1964

See more words from the same year

Statistics for slow-wave sleep

Cite this Entry

“Slow-wave sleep.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/slow-wave%20sleep. Accessed 28 Mar. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for slow-wave sleep

slow-wave sleep

noun

Medical Definition of slow-wave sleep

: the phase of non-REM sleep marked by the deepest sleep and the highest levels of delta wave activity with brain and muscle activity significantly reduced, loss of response to external stimuli greatest, and with heart rate and respiration at lowest levels

Note: Sleep time spent in slow-wave sleep is of longer duration during infancy and childhood.

Members of a second group were awakened every time they entered slow-wave sleep a stage when dreams tend not to occur.— Sandra Blakeslee abbreviation SWS

Comments on slow-wave sleep

What made you want to look up slow-wave sleep? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

March 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • field of crocuses
  • Which is a synonym of rectitudinous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!