Accumulation of somnogen leads to rebounding of sleep thus driving the mammal into a sleep period. Sleep only sets in after the somnogens have accumulated enough to overpower the sleep-wake switch thus switching it from the wake side to the sleep side.
However, when the sleep period sets in, the production of the somnogen reduces and its clearance overpowers its production and this finally decreases the homeostatic drive thus switching the sleep-wake switch from sleep side to the wake side again. This alternation of the somnogen is one that makes up for the sleep and wake period through its regulation. According to the research findings, the physiological pathways that are associated with somnogen are yet to be discovered but some of the factors associated with these pathways have been found and these include metabolic chemical reaction product of adenosine tri phosphate hydrolysis known as adenosine and immunomodulatory cytokines (Baracchi and Opp 2009).
Despite the fact that these chemical reactions induce sleep and wake periods, there is not enough evidence as to whether they have an effect of the expression of sleep patterns in mammals in terms of duration, quantity and quality of sleep.