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Stage of lactation affects sleep time in dairy cows

E. Ternman, E. Nilsson, P. P. Nielsen and others

Journal of Dairy Science (2019) 102, 5458–5465

doi: 10.3168/jds.2018-15950

• What did the research find?

The duration of sleep was found to change throughout the lactation cycle, with cows generally sleeping less during early lactation. Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep occurred both during the day and at night, with the larger proportion taking place at night. The total duration of REM sleep was much shorter during early lactation than during the late dry period. The shortest REM sleep duration was found for cows two weeks after calving and longest two weeks before calving, with the difference being due to the higher number of REM sleep bouts occurring two weeks before calving.

• How was it conducted?

Electrophysiological recordings were performed on 19 Swedish red dairy cows two weeks before calving and two, seven, 13, 22, 37 and 45 weeks after calving. The recordings were analysed to determine the …

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