This pilot study found that suvorexant, a dual hypocretin antagonist, increases the length of daytime sleep in shift workers compared to placebo. Larger trials are needed to compare suvorexant with current standard therapies.
Why this matters
Shift workers often have difficulty sleeping because of a misalignment of the internal circadian clock with sleep and wake behavior. While several techniques exist to increase daytime sleep in shift workers, they have limited success.
Hypocretins are excitatory neuropeptides that mediate wake promotion, this study finds that blocking hypocretin-1 using suvorexant increases daytime sleep in shift workers.