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Sleep Physiology, Circadian Rhythms, Waking Performance and the Development of Sleep-Wake Therapeutics


Dijk, Derk-Jan; Landolt, Hans-Peter (2019). Sleep Physiology, Circadian Rhythms, Waking Performance and the Development of Sleep-Wake Therapeutics. In: Barret, James E; Flockerzi, Veit; Frohmann, Michael A; Gepetti, Pierangelo; Hofmann, Franz B; Michel, Martin C; Page, Clive P; Rosenthal, Walter; Wang, KeWei. Sleep-Wake Neurobiology and Pharmacology. Cham: Springer, 441-481.

Abstract

Disturbances of the sleep-wake cycle are highly prevalent and diverse. The aetiology of some sleep disorders, such as circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders, is understood at the conceptual level of the circadian and homeostatic regulation of sleep and in part at a mechanistic level. Other disorders such as insomnia are more difficult to relate to sleep regulatory mechanisms or sleep physiology. To further our understanding of sleep-wake disorders and the potential of novel therapeutics, we discuss recent findings on the neurobiology of sleep regulation and circadian rhythmicity and its relation with the subjective experience of sleep and the quality of wakefulness. Sleep continuity and to some extent REM sleep emerge as determinants of subjective sleep quality and waking performance. The effects of insufficient sleep primarily concern subjective and objective sleepiness as well as vigilant attention, whereas performance on higher cognitive functions appears to be better preserved albeit at the cost of increased effort. We discuss age-related, sex and other trait-like differences in sleep physiology and sleep need and compare the effects of existing pharmacological and non-pharmacological sleep- and wake-promoting treatments. Successful non-pharmacological approaches such as sleep restriction for insomnia and light and melatonin treatment for circadian rhythm sleep disorders target processes such as sleep homeostasis or circadian rhythmicity. Most pharmacological treatments of sleep disorders target specific signalling pathways with no well-established role in either sleep homeostasis or circadian rhythmicity. Pharmacological sleep therapeutics induce changes in sleep structure and the sleep EEG which are specific to the mechanism of action of the drug. Sleep- and wake-promoting therapeutics often induce residual effects on waking performance and sleep, respectively. The need for novel therapeutic approaches continues not at least because of the societal demand to sleep and be awake out of synchrony with the natural light-dark cycle, the high prevalence of sleep-wake disturbances in mental health disorders and in neurodegeneration. Novel approaches, which will provide a more comprehensive description of sleep and allow for large-scale sleep and circadian physiology studies in the home environment, hold promise for continued improvement of therapeutics for disturbances of sleep, circadian rhythms and waking performance.

Abstract

Disturbances of the sleep-wake cycle are highly prevalent and diverse. The aetiology of some sleep disorders, such as circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorders, is understood at the conceptual level of the circadian and homeostatic regulation of sleep and in part at a mechanistic level. Other disorders such as insomnia are more difficult to relate to sleep regulatory mechanisms or sleep physiology. To further our understanding of sleep-wake disorders and the potential of novel therapeutics, we discuss recent findings on the neurobiology of sleep regulation and circadian rhythmicity and its relation with the subjective experience of sleep and the quality of wakefulness. Sleep continuity and to some extent REM sleep emerge as determinants of subjective sleep quality and waking performance. The effects of insufficient sleep primarily concern subjective and objective sleepiness as well as vigilant attention, whereas performance on higher cognitive functions appears to be better preserved albeit at the cost of increased effort. We discuss age-related, sex and other trait-like differences in sleep physiology and sleep need and compare the effects of existing pharmacological and non-pharmacological sleep- and wake-promoting treatments. Successful non-pharmacological approaches such as sleep restriction for insomnia and light and melatonin treatment for circadian rhythm sleep disorders target processes such as sleep homeostasis or circadian rhythmicity. Most pharmacological treatments of sleep disorders target specific signalling pathways with no well-established role in either sleep homeostasis or circadian rhythmicity. Pharmacological sleep therapeutics induce changes in sleep structure and the sleep EEG which are specific to the mechanism of action of the drug. Sleep- and wake-promoting therapeutics often induce residual effects on waking performance and sleep, respectively. The need for novel therapeutic approaches continues not at least because of the societal demand to sleep and be awake out of synchrony with the natural light-dark cycle, the high prevalence of sleep-wake disturbances in mental health disorders and in neurodegeneration. Novel approaches, which will provide a more comprehensive description of sleep and allow for large-scale sleep and circadian physiology studies in the home environment, hold promise for continued improvement of therapeutics for disturbances of sleep, circadian rhythms and waking performance.

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Item Type:Book Section, not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Biochemistry
Life Sciences > General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics
Language:English
Date:2019
Deposited On:08 Jan 2020 08:40
Last Modified:07 Sep 2020 08:54
Publisher:Springer
ISBN:978-3-030-11272-1
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/164_2019_243

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