Sleep disorders affect 70 million Americans, an estimate that is likely an underestimate, based on recent data. Though sleep is considered an essential behavior, the biological function of sleep is not known, which has limited the development of safe and effective therapies. We hypothesize that sleep serves some sort of restorative function that affects the entire organism. We propose to model activities associated with sleep using a “bottom-up” approach that utilizes computational modeling to link sleep-related protein activities. In this paper, we show how data from our investigation of proteins correlate to sleep-wake in the cortex of rats. We believe that understanding the underpinnings of sleep at all levels of the body’s organizational hierarchy holds great promise for the future of neuroergonomics research and practice.
Keywords: Sleep-wake behavior, biological timing, cellular underpinnings of sleep, interactions across brain regions, organ-organ interactions, protein expression, sleep deprivation, neuroergonomics, health maintenance.