Sleep is a fundamental biological process observed widely in the animal kingdom, but the neural circuits generating sleep remain poorly understood. Understanding the brain mechanisms controlling sleep requires the identification of key neurons in the control circuits and mapping of their synaptic connections. Technical innovations over the past decade have greatly facilitated dissection of the sleep circuits. This has set the stage for understanding how a variety of environmental and physiological factors influence sleep. The ability to initiate and terminate sleep on command will also help us to elucidate its functions within and beyond the brain.
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We thank Z. Zhang for providing a 24 h sleep recording from a mouse and S. Chung for helpful comments on the manuscript. This work was supported by EMBO and Human Frontier Science Program postdoctoral fellowships (to F.W.).
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
Nature thanks J. Born and the other anonymous reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
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Weber, F., Dan, Y. Circuit-based interrogation of sleep control. Nature 538, 51–59 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature19773
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