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The temperature dependence of sleep

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Title: The temperature dependence of sleep
Authors: Harding, E
Franks, N
Wisden, W
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Mammals have evolved a range of behavioural and neurological mechanisms that coordinate cycles of thermoregulation and sleep. Whether diurnal or nocturnal, sleep onset and a reduction in core temperature occur together. Non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep episodes are also accompanied by core and brain cooling. Thermoregulatory behaviours, like nest building and curling up, accompany this circadian temperature decline in preparation for sleeping. This could be a matter of simply comfort as animals seek warmth to compensate for lower temperatures. However, in both humans and other mammals, direct skin warming can shorten sleep-latency and promote NREM sleep. We discuss the evidence that body cooling and sleep are more fundamentally connected and that thermoregulatory behaviours, prior to sleep, form warm microclimates that accelerate NREM directly through neuronal circuits. Paradoxically, this warmth might also induce vasodilation and body cooling. In this way, warmth seeking and nesting behaviour might enhance the circadian cycle by activating specific circuits that link NREM initiation to body cooling. We suggest that these circuits explain why NREM onset is most likely when core temperature is at its steepest rate of decline and why transitions to NREM are accompanied by a decrease in brain temperature. This connection may have implications for energy homeostasis and the function of sleep.
Issue Date: 24-Apr-2019
Date of Acceptance: 22-Mar-2019
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/69692
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2019.00336
ISSN: 1662-4548
Publisher: Frontiers Media
Journal / Book Title: Frontiers in Neuroscience
Volume: 13
Copyright Statement: © 2019 Harding, Franks and Wisden. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Sponsor/Funder: Wellcome Trust
UK DRI Ltd
Funder's Grant Number: 107841/Z/15/Z
4050641385
Keywords: Science & Technology
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Neurosciences
Neurosciences & Neurology
sleep-wake cycle
thermoregulation
thermoregulatory behaviour
circadian
preoptic area
anterior hypothalamus
energy balance
nesting
MEDIAN PREOPTIC NUCLEUS
BROWN ADIPOSE-TISSUE
CORE BODY-TEMPERATURE
SKIN-TEMPERATURE
AMBIENT-TEMPERATURE
NEURONAL DISCHARGE
NITRIC-OXIDE
REM-SLEEP
MAMMALIAN HIBERNATION
THERMOSENSORY PATHWAY
1109 Neurosciences
1702 Cognitive Sciences
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: ARTN 336
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Natural Sciences



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