Interactions between sleep, stress, and metabolism: From physiological to pathological conditions

Sleep Sci. 2015 Nov;8(3):143-52. doi: 10.1016/j.slsci.2015.09.002. Epub 2015 Sep 28.


Poor sleep quality due to sleep disorders and sleep loss is highly prevalent in the modern society. Underlying mechanisms show that stress is involved in the relationship between sleep and metabolism through hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation. Sleep deprivation and sleep disorders are associated with maladaptive changes in the HPA axis, leading to neuroendocrine dysregulation. Excess of glucocorticoids increase glucose and insulin and decrease adiponectin levels. Thus, this review provides overall view of the relationship between sleep, stress, and metabolism from basic physiology to pathological conditions, highlighting effective treatments for metabolic disturbances.

Keywords: Cortisol; Hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis; Metabolism; Obesity; Sleep; Stress.

Publication types

  • Review