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Sleep and Anesthesia - Common mechanisms of action.

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Appropriate sleep hygiene is crucial for repair in states of disease and injury and in restoring function especially in the central nervous and immune systems. Anesthetics have different action targets and ultimately different consequences. The effects of anesthetics on circadian rhythm possibly also lead to immune deregulation. α2-adrenergic agonists converge on sleep pathways within the brainstem and are associated with changes in neuronal activity similar to those seen in deeper stages of NREM sleep. Thoughtful attention must be made in selecting an anesthetic agent that best mimics natural sleep. Future studies will further elucidate the benefits of dexmedetomidine as a good anesthetic/sedative candidate. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.

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