In this thesis, a recently developed physiologically-based model of the sleep-wake switch is analyzed and applied to a variety of clinically-relevant protocols. In contrast to phenomenological models, which have dominated sleep modeling in the past, the present work demonstrates the advantages of the physiologically-based approach.
Dynamical and linear stability analyses of the Phillips-Robinson sleep model allow us to create a general framework for determining its response to arbitrary external stimuli. The effects of near-stable wake and sleep ghosts on the model’s dynamics are found to have implications for arousal during sleep, sleep deprivation, and sleep inertia. Impulsive sensory stimuli during sleep are modeled modeled according to their known physiological mechanism. The predicted arousal threshold variation matches experimental data from the literature. In simulating a sleep fragmentation protocol, the model simultaneously reproduces the body temperature and arousal threshold variation measured in another existing clinical study.
In the second part of the thesis, we simulate sleep deprivation by introducing a wake-effort drive that is required to maintain wakefulness during normal sleeping periods. We interpret this drive both physiologically and psychologically, and demonstrate quantitative agreement between the model’s output and experimental subjective fatigue-related data. As well as subjective fatigue, the model is simultaneously able to reproduce adrenaline excretion and body temperature variations.
In the final part of the thesis, the model is extended to include the orexinergic neurons of the lateral hypothalamic area. Due to the dynamics of the orexin group, the extended model exhibits sleep inertia, and an inhibitory circadian projection to the orexin group produces a postlunch dip in performance – both of which are well-known behavioral features. Including both homeostatic and circadian inputs to the orexin group, the model produces a waking arousal variation that quantitatively matches published clinical data.