Regulation of the Sleep-Wake Cycle
Two general processes are thought to influence the amount and timing of sleep under ordinary circumstances. These processes also affect the degree of sleepiness or alertness at any time of the day or night under any conditions. These two processes typically operate in concert, promoting the usual pattern of nighttime sleep and daytime alertness; however, they may be dissociated and, with some limitations, may be investigated independently. These two primary processes, termed the homeostatic and circadian, will be discussed separately and then together as they are integrated under circumstances of regulation of the sleep-wake cycle (Dijk and Edgar, 1999).
Source: David N. Neubauer, “Understanding Sleeplessness: Perspectives on Insomnia,” The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore 2003
Republished by Health Care Programs