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Adicciones. 2012;24(4):287-90.

[Relationships between sleep and addiction].

[Article in Spanish]


While it is well known that there is an interaction between sleep disorders and substance abuse, it is certainly more complex than was previously thought. There is a positive relationship both between having a substance use disorder and suffering from a sleep disorder, and vice versa. The effects on sleep depend on the substance used, but it has been shown that both during use and in withdrawal periods consumers have various sleep problems, and basically more fragmented sleep. We know that sleep problems must be taken into account to prevent addiction relapses. Recent research shows that the hypocretinergic system defined by neuropeptide hypocretin / orexin (Hcrt / ox), located in the lateral hypothalamus and involved in, among other things, the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle, may play an important role in addictive behaviors. Different studies have demonstrated interactions between the hypocretinergic system, acute response to stress circuits and reward systems. We also know that selective optogenetic activation of the hypocretinergic system increases the probability of transition from sleep to wakefulness, and is sufficient for initiating an addictive compulsive behavior relapse. Hypocretinergic system activation could explain the hyperarousal associated with stress and addiction. Improved knowledge of this interaction would help us to understand better the mechanisms of addiction and find new strategies for the treatment of addictions.

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