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Fig. 3. Profiles of visually scored sleep stages (at 30-s intervals), delta power, plasma GH levels (sampled at 20-min intervals) and GH secretory rates from a typical normal young subject. Note that the profile of GH secretory rates clearly shows a rapid decrease in GH secretion coinciding with the end of the first period of increased delta wave activity and a re-initiation of secretion (reflected in a shoulder on the descending limb of the secretory pulse) at the beginning of the second period of increased delta wave activity. A complete interruption of secretion was not observed during the trough of delta activity, most likely because neither REM nor Wake interrupted the first non-REM period. Note also that the cessation of active secretion occurred shortly after the end of the second burst of delta wave activity, whereas plasma GH levels did not return immediately to baseline.

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