Sleep-wake disorders are highly prevalent disorders, which can lead to negative effects on cognitive, emotional and interpersonal functioning, and can cause maladaptive metabolic changes. Recent studies support the notion that metabolic processes correlate with sleep. The study of metabolite biomarkers (metabolomics) in a large-scale manner offers unique opportunities to provide insights into the pathology of diseases by revealing alterations in metabolic pathways. This review aims to summarize the status of metabolomic analyses-based knowledge on sleep disorders and to present knowledge in understanding the metabolic role of sleep in psychiatric disorders. Overall, findings suggest that sleep-wake disorders lead to pronounced alterations in specific metabolic pathways, which might contribute to the association of sleep disorders with other psychiatric disorders and medical conditions. These alterations are mainly related to changes in the metabolism of branched-chain amino acids, as well as glucose and lipid metabolism. In insomnia, alterations in branched-chain amino acid and glucose metabolism were shown among studies. In obstructive sleep apnea, biomarkers related to lipid metabolism seem to be of special importance. Future studies are needed to examine severity, subtypes and treatment of sleep-wake disorders in the context of metabolite levels.
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