Why Be Awake? (Re: A Theory of Sleep)

dag.stenberg at nospam.helsinki.fi dag.stenberg at nospam.helsinki.fi
Thu Oct 11 10:04:57 EST 2001

John H. <John at faraway.com.au> wrote:
> What I would like to know is if SWS
> initiates melatonin production or is melatonin production during sleeping
> hours simply a function of just sleeping, not SWS specifically.

Neither. Melatonin production is timed by the circadian rhythm, occurs
during the dark phase, is not (in repeatable studies) dependent on sleep
deprivation, but stops virtually instantly if the subject is exposed to
light. Sleep is more loosely related to the circadian rhythm, and its
regulation is rather independent of melatonin or of the regulation of

Dag Stenberg

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