Endogenous factors controlling sleep

B. J. Pollard, P. B. Haywood, C. J D Pomfrett

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Interest has been directed towards natural substances utilizing the same mechanisms employed by hypnotic anaesthetic agents. A number of endogenous substances exist which can be described as controllers of sleep and arousal. Amongst these are oleamide, linoleamide, anandamide, delta-sleep-inducing peptide (DSIP), vasoactive intestinal peptide and cholecystokinin. Oleamide has been shown to accumulate in sleep deprivation, and to induce sleep when injected into normal animals. This action appears to be mediated via 5HT2 and 5HT7 receptors and possibly GABAA receptors where it functions as a modulator of transmission, not an agonist. Delta-sleep-inducing peptide is found in CSF, plasma, urine and milk and is a nonapeptide which promotes sleep. Analogues of DSIP also exist which are either sleep promoting or sleep inhibiting. DSIP has been used for the treatment of insomnia and drug dependence with limited success, but not as an adjunct to anaesthesia. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)16-22
    Number of pages6
    JournalCurrent Anaesthesia and Critical Care
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


    • Amides
    • Circadian rhythm
    • Delta-sleep-inducing peptide
    • Oleic acid
    • Peptides
    • Sleep
    • Sleep deprivation
    • Vasoactive intestinal peptide


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