Although the association between sleep and GH release has been well documented, there is also good evidence to indicate that components of the somatotropic axis are involved in regulating sleep quality. Although the roles of each hormone could not be identified, the findings of a recent study in transgenic mice with a deficiency in the somatotropic axis have been particularly convincing as a robust loss of non-REM sleep was demonstrated in these animals as compared to their wild-type littermates (89). The studies reviewed in the present section are most consistent in indicating a role for GHRH in promoting non-REM and/or SW sleep via central, rather than peripheral, mechanisms. The current findings implicating GH in sleep regulation are more controversial.
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