About this Research Topic
Sleep is highly conserved among all organisms with a nervous system, ranging from worms to humans, and is vital to survival. Humans spend one third of their lives asleep, but due to work schedules and expectations, life-style choices, or pre-existing medical conditions, people are coping with a wide range of sleep disturbances. Sleep disturbances can cause a significant social toll due to increased prevalence of psychiatric illnesses, especially anxiety and mood disorders, decreased economic productivity, and a strong link to traffic and work-related accidents. Insufficient sleep is also an established risk factor for obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other lifestyle diseases.
The governing principles of sleep are, however, still one of the biggest black boxes of today’s neuroscience. Therefore, there is an increasing urgency to gain knowledge of the brain mechanisms and substrates that regulate sleep and reveal causal links between sleep and health. New genetic-based tools and approaches have permitted the unprecedented interrogation of discrete circuit elements (transmitters, pathways, cell populations) and identification of genes and signaling pathways regulating sleep/wake behavior. In turn, new cellular and molecular targets for treating sleep-based disorders have been identified.
The goal of the Research Topic is to gather original research articles, review articles, methods and commentaries relevant to the control of non-rapid eye movement (non-REM), REM sleep or wake. In particular, we look for contributions that shed light on mechanisms underlying key aspects of the sleep states, such as sleep need, the circadian, ultradian or behavioral gating of sleep, the daily sleep amount, and REM sleep homeostasis or abnormalities in neurodegenerative diseases. We are open to articles that use innovative techniques to study the detailed circuit and synaptic basis of sleep/wake control, for example, electrophysiological recording or imaging used in combination with pharmacologic or genetically driven perturbation of defined sets of neurons or glial cells in all animals that have the ability to sleep or exhibit a sleep-like behaviour. We also welcome studies on molecular profiling of sleep and wake states.
Keywords: Slow-wave sleep, rapid eye movement sleep, sleep need, arousal, hypnogenic substances
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.