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Hormones

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 232–248 | Cite as

Hormones, hormonal agents, and neuropeptides involved in the neuroendocrine regulation of sleep in humans

  • Grigorios Kotronoulas
  • Antonios Stamatakis
  • Fotini Stylianopoulou
Review

Abstract

Sleep is an essential ubiquitous biological process, a periodical state of quiescence in which there is minimal processing of sensory information and no interaction with conspecifics or the environment. Despite relevant research on sleep structure and testing of numerous endogenous sleep-affecting chemicals, questions as to the precise mechanisms and functions of sleep remain without satisfactory responses. The purpose of this review is to report on current evidence as regards the effect of several endogenous and exogenous hormones, hormonal agents, and neuropeptides on sleep onset or wake process, when administered in humans in specific doses and via different routes. The actions of several peptides are presented in detail. Some of them (growth hormone releasing hormone, ghrelin, galanin, neuropeptide Y) seem to promote sleep, whereas others (corticotropin, somatostatin) impair its continuity.

Keywords

Ghrelin GHRH Hormones Melatonin NPY Neuroendocrine regulation Neuropeptides Sleep Sleep disorders Wakefulness 

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Copyright information

© Hellenic Endocrine Society 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Grigorios Kotronoulas
    • 1
  • Antonios Stamatakis
    • 2
  • Fotini Stylianopoulou
    • 2
  1. 1.Cancer Care Research Centre (CCRC)University of StirlingStirlingScotland, UK
  2. 2.Laboratory of Biology-Biochemistry, Faculty of NursingUniversity of AthensAthensGreece

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