Neural Circuitry of Wakefulness and Sleep

Neuron. 2017 Feb 22;93(4):747-765. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2017.01.014.


Sleep remains one of the most mysterious yet ubiquitous animal behaviors. We review current perspectives on the neural systems that regulate sleep/wake states in mammals and the circadian mechanisms that control their timing. We also outline key models for the regulation of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-REM sleep, how mutual inhibition between specific pathways gives rise to these distinct states, and how dysfunction in these circuits can give rise to sleep disorders.

Keywords: REM sleep; arousal; chemogenetics; circadian; hypocretin; monoamines; non-REM sleep; optogenetics; orexin; pharmacogenetics; wake.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Sleep, REM / physiology*
  • Wakefulness / physiology*