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Abstract

Rapidly emerging evidence continues to describe an intimate and causal relationship between sleep and affective brain regulation. These findings are mirrored by long-standing clinical observations demonstrating that nearly all mood and anxiety disorders co-occur with one or more abnormalities of sleep. This review aims to (1) provide a synthesis of recent human evidence describing affective brain and behavioral benefits of sleep when it is obtained, and conversely, detrimental impairments following a lack thereof, (2) set forth a rapid eye movement sleep hypothesis of affective brain homeostasis, optimally preparing the organism for next-day social and emotional functioning, and (3) outline how this model may explain the prevalent relationships observed between sleep and affective disorders, including relevant treatment mechanisms, with a particular focus on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).