So looking into this chemical a bit, theres not much evidence behind it being competently linked to helping regulate sleep. As it’s come up in a few articles I’ve read I still read into it. Because it’s not such a known chemical that is known to be in the process, all the language is very technical and was hard to understand, and although I have a general background knowledge in chemistry, it’s becoming very hard to understand.

General facts:

  • Produced by the depletion of ATP (adenosine triphosphate).
  • (ATP is the ‘energy currency’ in the body and is used for energy for cells)
  • Therefore adenosine is used for energy transfer, but it’s also important for blood flow.
  • The accumulation of adenosine during awake periods is associated with the depletion of ATP glycogen (used as energy) reserves stored in the brain.
  • These increased levels of adenosine triggers non REM (rapid eye movement) sleep during which the brain is less active.
  • This lack of activity places it in recovery phase that is essential for it to reload its stores of glycogen.
  • Different types of adenosine, receptor antagonists and agonists.
  • Do the opposite to each other.
  • Adenosine agonists inhibit wake on neurons and are found to decrease wakefulness and increase sleep, whereas adenosine receptors do the opposite (ie, they increase wakefulness and decrease sleep)
  • eg, caffeine is a non selective adenosine antagonist.


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