The sleep switch: hypothalamic control
of sleep and wakefulness

Saper CB, Chou TC, Scammell TE.
Dept of Neurology and Program in Neuroscience,
Harvard Medical School,
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center,
02215, Boston, MA, USA
Trends Neurosci 2001 Dec 1;24(12):726-31


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.

Modafinil: structure
Modafinil and serotonin
Modafinil and the aviator
Modafinil and the marmoset
Modafinil: pharmacokinetics
Modafinil as an antidepressant

and further reading

Future Opioids
BLTC Research
Utopian Surgery?
The Abolitionist Project
The Hedonistic Imperative
The Reproductive Revolution
Critique of Huxley's Brave New World

The Good Drug Guide
The Good Drug Guide

The Responsible Parent's Guide
To Healthy Mood Boosters For All The Family