Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

AbstractSleep and wakefulness are not simple homogenous all-or-none states, but instead are characterized by rich dynamics of brain activity across many temporal and spatial scales. Rapid global state transitions between waking and sleeping are believed to be controlled by hypothalamic circuits, but the contribution of the hypothalamus to within-state changes of sleep and wake “intensity” remains largely unexplored. Here we show that stimulation of inhibitory neurons in the preoptic hypothalamus does not merely trigger awakening from sleep, but the resulting awake state is also characterized by increased cortical activity. This activation is associated with a faster build-up of sleep pressure, proportional to the arousal level. These findings show that hypothalamic systems thought to exclusively control global state switching, also regulate within-state “intensity”, which we propose as a key intrinsic variable in shaping the architecture of sleep/wake states across the 24h day.

Original publication




Journal article

Publication Date