The thalamus has a strong nonphotic influence on sleep, circadian rhythmicity, pineal melatonin production, and secretion. The opening of the sleep gate for nonrapid eye movement sleep is a thalamic function but it is assisted by melatonin which acts by promoting spindle formation. Thus, melatonin has a modulatory influence on sleep onset and maintenance. A remarkable similarity exists between spindle behavior, circadian rhythmicity, and pineal melatonin production throughout life. Together, the thalamic and chronobiological control of sleep leads to a new and improved understanding of the pathophysiology of circadian rhythm sleep disorders and also of the principles of sleep hygiene interventions.
- Circadian rhythm sleep disorders
- Intergeniculate leaflet
- Sleep gates
ASJC Scopus subject areas