Time for Bed: Genetic Mechanisms Mediating the Circadian Regulation of Sleep

Ian D. Blum, Benjamin Bell, Mark N. Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Sleep is an evolutionarily conserved behavior that is increasingly recognized as important for human health. While its precise function remains controversial, sleep has been suggested to play a key role in a variety of biological phenomena ranging from synaptic plasticity to metabolic clearance. Although it is clear that sleep is regulated by the circadian clock, how this occurs remains enigmatic. Here we examine the genetic mechanisms by which the circadian clock regulates sleep, drawing on recent work in fruit flies, zebrafish, mice, and humans. These studies reveal that central and local clocks utilize diverse mechanisms to regulate different aspects of sleep, and a better understanding of this multilayered regulation may lead to a better understanding of the functions of sleep.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-388
Number of pages10
JournalTrends in Genetics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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