Suvorexant Study Reveals Surprising Metabolic Effects During Sleep, Opening New Treatment Options for Insomnia

Tokyo, Japan – New research out of Tokyo, Japan sheds light on the dual effects of a drug called suvorexant on sleep and metabolism. This study reveals that suvorexant not only enhances fat oxidation but also reduces protein breakdown during sleep, opening up potential new avenues for treating insomnia with orexin antagonists.

The orexin system, known for its involvement in regulating feeding, plays a crucial role in controlling sleep and wakefulness as well as energy metabolism. Suvorexant, an orexin receptor antagonist approved for treating insomnia in 2014, has provided researchers with an opportunity to study the physiological functions of orexin in humans.

In a recent study involving 14 healthy men, researchers explored how suvorexant impacted energy metabolism during sleep and upon waking up. Although total sleep time did not significantly change after treatment with suvorexant, there was an increase in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and a decrease in non-REM sleep stage 1.

Interestingly, suvorexant was found to promote fat oxidation during sleep, continuing its effects into the first hour after waking in the morning. Additionally, the drug reduced protein breakdown without affecting overall energy expenditure during sleep.

These findings suggest that the orexin system influences fat oxidation and protein metabolism independently of its role in regulating sleep and wake cycles. This discovery opens up potential new clinical uses for orexin receptor antagonists in the long-term treatment of conditions like insomnia. This study illuminates the potential for more tailored approaches to selecting hypnotic agents for patients struggling with sleep disorders.

The implications of this research could lead to advancements in the development of treatments that target both sleep quality and metabolism, offering new hope for those suffering from sleep-related disorders. The findings of this study provide valuable insights into the complex interplay between sleep regulation and metabolism, paving the way for further research in this field.