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Sleep onset

Historical Context and Sleep Pathways: – In the 1920s, Constantin von Economo studied an unidentified disorder affecting sleep regulation. – Von Economo identified pathways regulating […]

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Historical Context and Sleep Pathways:
– In the 1920s, Constantin von Economo studied an unidentified disorder affecting sleep regulation.
– Von Economo identified pathways regulating wakefulness and sleep onset in the brain stem and basal forebrain.
– His work laid the foundation for understanding sleep mechanisms.
– Lesions in midbrain-diencephalon connections can lead to prolonged sleepiness.
– Ascending pathways involving specific neurons and neurotransmitters play a crucial role in sleep regulation.

Neural Circuit Monitoring:
– Electrodes on the scalp (EEG), chin (EMG), and around the eyes (EOG) help measure brain activity, muscle movement, and eye movements during sleep.
– EEG records brain waves, EMG tracks muscle activity, and EOG monitors eye movements.
– These measurements aid in understanding neural activity during different sleep stages.
– Studying neural circuitry provides insights into sleep regulation mechanisms.

Lesions and Sleep Disorders:
– Lesions in specific brain regions like the preoptic area and hypothalamus can cause sleep disorders.
– The ventrolateral preoptic nucleus produces GABA, aiding in sleep onset.
– Research on lesion-induced sleep disturbances contributes to understanding sleep regulation mechanisms.
– Identifying key brain areas responsible for healthy sleep patterns is crucial.

Sleep Switch Mechanism:
– Sleep-promoting neurons in the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus inhibit arousal-promoting neurons, inducing sleep.
– Inhibitory neurotransmitters like GABA and galanin facilitate the transition to sleep.
– Reciprocal discharges between sleep-promoting and arousal-promoting neurons regulate the sleep-wake cycle.
– Adenosine accumulation during wakefulness contributes to sleep induction.

Neuronal Activity and Sleep Initiation:
– Mapping sleep-wake specific neurons in the brain provides insights into sleep initiation.
– Connectivity between brain regions during sleep onset is crucial for understanding the transition from wakefulness to sleep.
– The basal forebrain and preoptic hypothalamus play essential roles in sleep regulation.
– Neuroscientific research focuses on the neurological mechanisms underlying sleep onset.

Sleep onset (Wikipedia)

Sleep onset is the transition from wakefulness into sleep. Sleep onset usually transmits into non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREM sleep) but under certain circumstances (e.g. narcolepsy) it is possible to transit from wakefulness directly into rapid eye movement sleep (REM sleep).

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