Use of a dual hypocretin antagonist in shift workers to improve their daytime sleep

Takeaway

  • This pilot study found that suvorexant, a dual hypocretin antagonist, increases the length of daytime sleep in shift workers compared to placebo. Larger trials are needed to compare suvorexant with current standard therapies.

Why this matters

  • Shift workers often have difficulty sleeping because of a misalignment of the internal circadian clock with sleep and wake behavior. While several techniques exist to increase daytime sleep in shift workers, they have limited success.

  • Hypocretins are excitatory neuropeptides that mediate wake promotion, this study finds that blocking hypocretin-1 using suvorexant increases daytime sleep in shift workers.