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

Hakseung Kim, Hee Ra Jung, Jung Bin Kim, Dong Joo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-151
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Neurology (Korea)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Mar

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Korean Neurological Association.


  • autonomic nervous system
  • neurobiology
  • pathology
  • ‌sleep disorders

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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