The postoperative sleep disturbance (POSD) is characterized by reduction of
sleep after surgical operation. However, its mechanism is not well known.
Therefore, we hypothesized that anesthetics could contribute to the POSD, a
nd studied the effects of isoflurane and ketamine on sleep in rabbits. Rabb
it sleep was measured for 21 h after isoflurane exposure or intravenous inj
ection of ketamine. Non-rapid eve movement sleep (NREMS) was decreased afte
r isoflurane anesthesia. In contrast, ketamine anesthesia significantly enh
anced NREMS. Both anesthetics did not affect rapid eye movement sleep. Thes
e results suggest that isoflurane may contribute to the POSD, but ketamine
may decrease the POSD.