Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Trends Neurosci. 2001 Dec;24(12):726-31.

The sleep switch: hypothalamic control of sleep and wakefulness.

Author information

  • 1Dept of Neurology, Program in Neuroscience, Harvard Medical School, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


More than 70 years ago, von Economo predicted a wake-promoting area in the posterior hypothalamus and a sleep-promoting region in the preoptic area. Recent studies have dramatically confirmed these predictions. The ventrolateral preoptic nucleus contains GABAergic and galaninergic neurons that are active during sleep and are necessary for normal sleep. The posterior lateral hypothalamus contains orexin/hypocretin neurons that are crucial for maintaining normal wakefulness. A model is proposed in which wake- and sleep-promoting neurons inhibit each other, which results in stable wakefulness and sleep. Disruption of wake- or sleep-promoting pathways results in behavioral state instability.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center