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Physiological and autonomic stress responses after prolonged sleep restriction and subsequent recovery sleep in healthy young men
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stress Research Institute. University of Helsinki, Finland; Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Finland.
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2018 (English)In: Sleep and Biological Rhythms, ISSN 1446-9235, E-ISSN 1479-8425, Vol. 16, no 1, p. 45-54Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose

Sleep restriction is increasingly common and associated with the development of health problems. We investigated how the neuroendocrine stress systems respond to prolonged sleep restriction and subsequent recovery sleep in healthy young men.

Methods

After two baseline (BL) nights of 8 h time in bed (TIB), TIB was restricted to 4 h per night for five nights (sleep restriction, SR, n = 15), followed by three recovery nights (REC) of 8 h TIB, representing a busy workweek and a recovery weekend. The control group (n = 8) had 8 h TIB throughout the experiment. A variety of autonomic cardiovascular parameters, together with salivary neuropeptide Y (NPY) and cortisol levels, were assessed.

Results

In the control group, none of the parameters changed. In the experimental group, heart rate increased from 60 ± 1.8 beats per minute (bpm) at BL, to 63 ± 1.1 bpm after SR and further to 65 ± 1.8 bpm after REC. In addition, whole day low-frequency to-high frequency (LF/HF) power ratio of heart rate variability increased from 4.6 ± 0.4 at BL to 6.0 ± 0.6 after SR. Other parameters, including salivary NPY and cortisol levels, remained unaffected.

Conclusions

Increased heart rate and LF/HF power ratio are early signs of an increased sympathetic activity after prolonged sleep restriction. To reliably interpret the clinical significance of these early signs of physiological stress, a follow-up study would be needed to evaluate if the stress responses escalate and lead to more unfavourable reactions, such as elevated blood pressure and a subsequent elevated risk for cardiovascular health problems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 16, no 1, p. 45-54
Keywords [en]
Sleep restriction, Autonomic nervous system, HPA-axis, Cortisol, Heart rate variability
National Category
Applied Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-151336DOI: 10.1007/s41105-017-0122-xISI: 000425888800006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-151336DiVA, id: diva2:1172605
Available from: 2018-01-10 Created: 2018-01-10 Last updated: 2018-04-03Bibliographically approved

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