Effects of Progesterone on Sleep: A Possible Pharmacological Treatment for Sleep-Breathing Disorders?
M. L. Andersen, L. R. A. Bittencourt, I. B. Antunes and S. Tufik
Affiliation: Department of Psychobiology - Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, Rua Napoleao de Barros, 925, Vila Clementino - SP- 04024-002, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Progesterone is present in a wide spectrum of biological activity within a variety of tissues. This hormone is also known to affect reproduction, sleep quality, respiration, mood, appetite, learning, memory and sexual activity. Progesterone exerts a sleep induction or hypnotic effect and is a potent respiratory stimulant that has been associated to a decrease in the number of central and obstructive sleep apnea episodes in men. The literature also contains a substantial amount of data on the effect of apnea in women with obesityhypoventilation during menopause. This review attempts to outline the specific role of progesterone in normal sleep and breathing as well as its possible therapeutic effects in the treatment of sleep-disordered breathing.
Keywords: Progesterone, sleep, sleep apnea, breathing, hormonal control
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