- Review Article
Feeding and sleep are essential for life. They are thought to be reciprocally connected, but mechanisms behind this link remain mysterious. This has partly been due to a lack of causal knowledge about how specific neuronal attributes (firing rates, transmitter synthesis) affect sleep. Recently, however, technological breakthroughs established that changes in firing of certain molecularly defined neurons rapidly alter sleep parameters. Thus, a fundamental question can now be addressed: do nutrients acutely change firing rates of neurons implicated in sleep control, and does this alter sleep? Here we review data suggesting that the hypothalamus is particularly useful for investigating this, since it contains molecularly distinct neurons whose firing is both acutely sensitive to nutrient levels, and can alter sleep-wake states. We discuss why existing data do not yet answer the above question, and propose experiments for advancing this. Furthermore, we highlight emerging broader brain circuitries that may link diet and sleep. Show more
Journal / seriesCurrent Opinion in Physiology
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