Octacosanol, a component of various food materials, possesses prominent biological activities and functions. It fights against cellular stress by increasing glutathione level and thus scavenging oxygen reactive species. However, its anti-stress activity and role in sleep induction remained elusive. We hypothesize that octacosanol can restore stress-affected sleep by mitigating stress. Cage change strategy was used to induce mild stress and sleep disturbance in mice, and effects of octacosanol administration on amount of sleep and stress were investigated. Results showed that octacosanol did not change rapid eye movement (REM) or non-REM (NREM) sleep compared to vehicle in normal mice. However, in cage change experiment, octacosanol induces significant increase in NREM sleep at doses of 100 and 200 mg/kg (75.7 ± 14.9 and 82.7 ± 9.3 min/5 h) compared to vehicle (21.2 ± 5.1 min/5 h), and decreased sleep latency. Octacosanol induced sleep by increasing number of sleep episodes and decreasing wake episode duration. Plasma corticosterone levels were significantly reduced after octacosanol (200 mg/kg) administration, suggesting a decrease in stress level. Octacosanol-induced changes in sleep-wake parameters in stressed-mice were comparable to the values in normal mice. Together, these data clearly showed that, though octacosanol does not alter normal sleep, it clearly alleviates stress and restore stress-affected sleep.
ASJC Scopus subject areas