J Clin Neurol.  2022 Mar;18(2):140-151. 10.3988/jcn.2022.18.2.140.

Autonomic Dysfunction in Sleep Disorders: From Neurobiological Basis to Potential Therapeutic Approaches

  • 1Department of Brain and Cognitive Engineering, Korea University, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO, USA
  • 3Department of Neurology, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 4Department of Artificial Intelligence, Korea University, Seoul, Korea
  • 5NeuroTx, Co., Ltd., Seoul, Korea


Sleep disorder has been portrayed as merely a common dissatisfaction with sleep quality and quantity. However, sleep disorder is actually a medical condition characterized by inconsistent sleep patterns that interfere with emotional dynamics, cognitive functioning, and even physical performance. This is consistent with sleep abnormalities being more common in patients with autonomic dysfunction than in the general population. The autonomic nervous system coordinates various visceral functions ranging from respiration to neuroendocrine secretion in order to maintain homeostasis of the body. Because the cell population and efferent signals involved in autonomic regulation are spatially adjacent to those that regulate the sleep-wake system, sleep architecture and autonomic coordination exert effects on each other, suggesting the presence of a bidirectional relationship in addition to shared pathology. The primary goal of this review is to highlight the bidirectional and shared relationship between sleep and autonomic regulation. It also introduces the effects of autonomic dysfunction on insomnia, breathing disorders, central disorders of hypersomnolence, parasomnias, and movement disorders. This information will assist clinicians in determining how neuromodulation can have the greatest therapeutic effects in patients with sleep disorders.


sleep disorders; autonomic nervous system; pathology; neurobiology
Full Text Links
  • JCN
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2024 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: koreamed@kamje.or.kr