The neural circuit of orexin (hypocretin): maintaining sleep and wakefulness

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2007 Mar;8(3):171-81. doi: 10.1038/nrn2092. Epub 2007 Feb 14.


Sleep and wakefulness are regulated to occur at appropriate times that are in accordance with our internal and external environments. Avoiding danger and finding food, which are life-essential activities that are regulated by emotion, reward and energy balance, require vigilance and therefore, by definition, wakefulness. The orexin (hypocretin) system regulates sleep and wakefulness through interactions with systems that regulate emotion, reward and energy homeostasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Narcolepsy / metabolism
  • Narcolepsy / pathology
  • Nerve Net / metabolism*
  • Neural Pathways / metabolism
  • Neuropeptides / metabolism*
  • Orexins
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Wakefulness / physiology*


  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Neuropeptides
  • Orexins