Phylogenetic conservation of the interdependent homeostatic relationship of sleep regulation and redox metabolism

J Comp Physiol B. 2024 Jun;194(3):241-252. doi: 10.1007/s00360-023-01530-4. Epub 2024 Feb 7.


Sleep is an essential and evolutionarily conserved process that affects many biological functions that are also strongly regulated by cellular metabolism. The interdependence between sleep homeostasis and redox metabolism, in particular, is such that sleep deprivation causes redox metabolic imbalances in the form of over-production of ROS. Likewise (and vice versa), accumulation of ROS leads to greater sleep pressure. Thus, it is theorized that one of the functions of sleep is to act as the brain's "antioxidant" at night by clearing oxidation built up from daily stress of the active day phase. In this review, we will highlight evidence linking sleep homeostasis and regulation to redox metabolism by discussing (1) the bipartite role that sleep-wake neuropeptides and hormones have in redox metabolism through comparing cross-species cellular and molecular mechanisms, (2) the evolutionarily metabolic changes that accompanied the development of sleep loss in cavefish, and finally, (3) some of the challenges of uncovering the cellular mechanism underpinning how ROS accumulation builds sleep pressure and cellularly, how this pressure is cleared.

Keywords: Cavefish; Homeostasis; Metabolism; Redox; Sleep; Zebrafish.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Evolution
  • Homeostasis*
  • Humans
  • Neuropeptides / genetics
  • Neuropeptides / metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction*
  • Phylogeny
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Sleep* / physiology


  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Neuropeptides