Specific melatonin receptor promotes a deeper sleep

[Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons

Insomnia or insufficient sleep is a common malady, affecting millions of people worldwide. Mammalian sleep normally progresses from wakefulness to non-rapid eye movement sleep (NREMS) before transitioning to rapid eye movement sleep (REMS). NREMS is also called slow-wave, deep or restorative sleep because important functions such as memory consolidation and metabolic regulation occur during this phase. Existing pharmacologic treatments for insomnia, such as benzodiazepines, disrupt natural sleep progression and may result in cognitive dysfunction as well as dependence and abuse. Therefore, the development of new therapies that selectively increase NREMS without disrupting sleep progression has remained a clinical goal.

Lab Anim. (NY) 41, 31 (2012).
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