A Neurobiological Model of Insomnia

Drug Discov Today Dis Models. 2011 Winter;8(4):129-137. doi: 10.1016/j.ddmod.2011.07.002.


Insomnia is a common clinical condition resulting in significant costs and morbidity. Previous models of insomnia focusing on psychological and behavioral processes are useful clinically, but lack neurobiological specificity. We propose an insomnia model based on basic and clinical neuroscience findings, and hypothesize that insomnia results from persistent activity in wake-promoting neural structures during NREM sleep. The simultaneous occurrence of sleeping and waking neural activity helps to explain clinical phenomenology and treatment effects in insomnia.