Abstract In the human sleep literature there is much controversy regarding the existence and the characteristics of hippocampal rhythmic slow activity (RSA). Generally the human RSA is believed to occur in short bursts of theta activity. An earlier study, however, reported mesiotemporal RSA during rapid-eye-movement (REM) sleep that instead of theta fell in the delta frequency band. We conjectured that if this RSA activity is indeed a human analogue of the animal hippocampal theta then characteristics associated with the animal theta should also be reflected in the human recordings. Here our aim was to examine possible phase coupling between mesiotemporal RSA and gamma activity during REM sleep. The study relied on nine epilepsy surgery candidates implanted with foramen ovale electrodes. Positive half-waves of the 1.5–3 Hz RSA were identified by an automatic algorithm during REM sleep. High-frequency activity was assessed for 11 consecutive 20 Hz–wide frequency bands between 20 and 240 Hz. Increase in high frequency activity was phase coupled with RSA in most frequency bands and patients. Such a phase coupling closely resembles that seen between theta and gamma in rodents. We consider this commonality to be an additional reason for regarding delta rather than theta as the human analogue of RSA in animals.