Slow wave activity (SWA) during slow wave sleep (SWS) is the best indicator of the sleep homeostasis. The intensity of the SWA observed during SWS that follows prolonged waking is directly correlated with the duration of prior waking and its intensity decays during SWS suggesting a buildup and a resolution of sleep need. This sleep-homeostasis related SWA results from a buildup and decay of extracellular adenosine that acts at neuronal adenosine A1 receptors to facilitate SWA and is metabolized by adenosine kinase found in glia. This local neuronal-glial circuit for homeostatic SWA is primarily under the requisite control of two genes, the Adora1 and Adk, encoding the responsible adenosine receptor and adenosine's highest affinity metabolizing enzyme.
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