Hormones, hormonal agents, and neuropeptides involved in the neuroendocrine regulation of sleep in humans

Grigorios Kotronoulas, Antonios Stamatakis, Fotini Stylianopoulou

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Sleep is an essential ubiquitous biological process, a periodical state of quiescence in which there is minimal processing of sensory information and no interaction with conspecifics or the environment. Despite relevant research on sleep structure and testing of numerous endogenous sleep-affecting chemicals, questions as to the precise mechanisms and functions of sleep remain without satisfactory responses. The purpose of this review is to report on current evidence as regards the effect of several endogenous and exogenous hormones, hormonal agents, and neuropeptides on sleep onset or wake process, when administered in humans in specific doses and via different routes. The actions of several peptides are presented in detail. Some of them (growth hormone releasing hormone, ghrelin, galanin, neuropeptide Y) seem to promote sleep, whereas others (corticotropin, somatostatin) impair its continuity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-248
Number of pages17
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Ghrelin
  • GHRH
  • hormones
  • melatonin
  • neuroendocrine regulation
  • neuropeptides
  • NPY
  • sleep
  • sleep disorders
  • wakefulness

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