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The Flowerpot Technique is used in sleep deprivation studies. It is designed to allow NREM sleep but prevent REM sleep. A rat is placed on top of an upside down flower pot which is placed in a bucket of water. While in NREM sleep the rat retains muscle tone so it can sleep on top of the flowerpot. When the rat enters REM sleep it will lose muscle tone and fall off the flowerpot into the water, then climb back up and re-enter NREM sleep.
References & Bibliography
- Porkka-Heiskanen, T. and Tuornisto, L. and Yilnen, M. and Stenberg D. The effect of REM sleep deprivation on histamine concentration in different brain areas. Live Sciences 54 (2): 1720-25, 1994.
- Sayan, H, Gelir, E, and Babul, A. Brain Stem and Cerebral Cortex Histamine Concentrations in the Rem Sleep Deprived Rats, Turk. J. Med. Sci., 31 (2001) 499-502 
- Rosenthal, Martha S, Physiology and neurochemistry of sleep, American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, Summer 1998.