Home > Conscious > 7. Sleep and Anesthesia


During deep sleep and general anesthesia, consciousness is lost. From the viewpoint of the nervous system, this is because the functional connectivity of the resting state networks has been disrupted (Section 5.1). According to the Alpha Hypothesis, the loss of consciousness arises from significant reduction in the globally synchronized α activities. On the other hand, general anesthetics are small molecules. How can they attenuate α activities and/or their global synchronization? What molecules are involved in natural sleep? The goal of this chapter is to explore the mechanisms of sleep and general anesthesia at the molecular level.

7.1. Stages of Sleep

7.2. The Importance of Astrocytes

7.3. The Ascending Arousal System

7.4. The Role of Adenosine in Sleep

7.5. Alpha Wave and HCN Channels

7.6. Slow Oscillation and HCN Channels

7.7. The Effects of Melatonin

7.8. General Anesthetics


Author: Frank Lee
First Published: August 16, 2016