Sleep assay

Our zebrafish-modelled sleep assay is one-of-a-kind.

It's the only one available today that allows researchers to gauge the sleep-inducing effects of drug molecules on in vivo subjects based on their behavioural phenotypes.

Zebrafish for sleep research

Since zebrafish exhibit a circadian rhythm and share other human CNS characteristics they can be effectively used in sleep research.

Our unique model tracks their behavioural patterns and analyses the effect of pharmaceutical molecules on their sleep cycles. All this is done on a not-seen-before scale, providing fast and surprisingly efficient results.

Behaviour is key

3Z Pharmaceuticals has built a verifiably unique process of evaluating drug compounds using zebrafish.

The key ingredient to our successful approach is our purpose-built analytics software that sheds a light on zebrafish behaviour. This gives researchers whole-organism data on an unprecedented scale.

Uniquely cost-effective

Parallel in vivo monitoring of thousands at a time
Dramatically lower early costs during drug discovery
Get in touch for more information on our sleep assay: +354-599-6467

Researching drug effects on sleep using zebrafish larvae


During our sleep assays we typically monitor 2304 zebrafish larvae at the same time.

8am - 10pm: Lights on
10pm - 8am: Lights off

Parameters extrapolated and analyzed

Sleep fragmentation
Average awakenings per hour

Sleep ratio
Percentage of time asleep during lights-off

Sleep latency
Duration from lights-off to first sleep bout

Length of sleep bout
Average length of sleep bouts during lights-off

Length of wake bout
Average length of wake bouts during lights-off

Drug effects on sleep ratio

The 3Z Sleep Assay's large scale provides very clear results.

Here below you can see some of the results from a 1200-compound assay.

We plot the circadian rhythm observed for each compound being studied; at 3 different levels of concentration.

Drugs that exceed a certain cut-off point in sleep ratio are characterized as sleep-inducing and assayed again for confirmation.

Get a quote from 3Z

Send us information on your project and we'll respond quickly.


3Z ehf.
Menntavegur 1
101 Reykjavik
tel.: +354-599-6434
email: info (at)

Partially funded by: