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Here is a quick mnemonic “WAKE AND SLEEP CYCLE to remember about Wake And Sleep Regulated By Brain Circuits

This can be valuable for patients as well as medical doctors, nurses & students doing their clinical rounds. You can also find it very useful for med exams like USMLE, MBBS, NEET PG, FMGE, NExT, MCAT & NCLEX exams

Wake And Sleep Regulated By Brain Circuits : How To Remember Easily ?

  • W – Wakefulness is governed by the ascending arousal system.
  • A – Activation of the cerebral cortex and thalamus is necessary for wakefulness.
  • K – Key neurotransmitters like glutamate, dopamine, and histamine are involved in activating target neurons for wakefulness.
  • E -Essentially inhibitory inputs from the sleep-promoting system turn off the arousal system during sleep.
  • A – Additional wake-promoting neurons in the hypothalamus reinforce activity in the arousal cell groups.
  • N – Narcolepsy, a sleep disorder, is caused by the specific loss of orexin neurons.
  • D – Damage to the arousal system can cause coma or profound sleepiness.
  • S – Sleep-promoting neurons in the preoptic area and pons inhibit the arousal system using GABA.
  • L – Loss of ventrolateral preoptic nucleus neurons correlates with reduced ability to maintain sleep.
  • E – Electrical engineers liken the neural circuit between the arousal and sleep-promoting systems to a flip-flop switch.
  • E – EEG recordings show rapid transitions between waking and sleeping states.
  • P – Poor sleep quality in Alzheimer’s disease may be due, in part, to the injury of ventrolateral preoptic neurons.
  • C – CNS-projecting glutamatergic neurons in the REM-On group produce key phenomena associated with REM sleep.
  • Y – Yet, REM-On neurons that project to the forebrain may be important in producing dreams.
  • C – Cholinergic input favors transitions to REM sleep.
  • L – Lesions affecting REM sleep-promoting neurons can lead to REM sleep behavior disorder.
  • E – Excitatory REM-Off neurons inhibit REM-On neurons in the upper pons.


Dr. Arin Nandi

Passionate About Medical Science & Helping Future Doctors Achieve Top Ranks In Medical Exams. He is professionally a dentist as well as a public health expert from JIPMER (1), (2)working in health department