Sleep deprivation and gene expression

Curr Top Behav Neurosci. 2015;25:65-90. doi: 10.1007/7854_2014_360.


Sleep occurs in a wide range of animal species as a vital process for the maintenance of homeostasis, metabolic restoration, physiological regulation, and adaptive cognitive functions in the central nervous system. Long-term perturbations induced by the lack of sleep are mostly mediated by changes at the level of transcription and translation. This chapter reviews studies in humans, rodents, and flies to address the various ways by which sleep deprivation affects gene expression in the nervous system, with a focus on genes related to neuronal plasticity, brain function, and cognition. However, the effects of sleep deprivation on gene expression and the functional consequences of sleep loss are clearly not restricted to the cognitive domain but may include increased inflammation, expression of stress-related genes, general impairment of protein translation, metabolic imbalance, and thermal deregulation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gene Expression / genetics
  • Gene Expression / physiology*
  • Genes, Immediate-Early / genetics
  • Genes, Immediate-Early / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Sleep Deprivation / genetics
  • Sleep Deprivation / metabolism*