In the fast-paced society that we live in today many people struggle to get an adequate amount of sleep on a regular basis. Balancing work, family, and social commitments can make it nearly impossible to meet the recommendation of at least eight hours each night. This has caused many people to suffer from various sleep deprivation conditions which not only lead to mood disorders and fatigue, but can also cause health complications that may later increase risk for cardiovascular disease. The aim of the current study is to examine the specific physiological and psychological effects of acute moderate sleep deprivation (AMSD) on the response to exercise. We will present findings from previous sleep deprivation studies, discuss the rationale behind our hypothesis, and present preliminary findings from our ongoing studies. We defined AMSD as occurring when a person obtains 2-4 hours of sleep in a given night. We will have ten to twenty participants undergo an initial health screening to establish baseline levels for the necessary variables. Subjects will then partake in two randomly-assigned cycle ergometer trials: 1) after a rested night of 8-10 hours of sleep and 2) after sleeping only 2-4 hours (AMSD). Oxygen consumption will be measured in response to the same relative work load during the two trials. We hypothesize that compared to the rested state, AMSD will lead to elevated sympathetic nervous system activity, impaired metabolic function, depressed mood, and an increase in rating of perceived exertion. Assessment of how AMSD affects sympathetic and parasympathetic autonomic nervous system control of cardiac function will be measured via heart rate variability analysis. In addition, ratings of perceived exertion and the profile of mood states will be administered to assess changes in the psychological and mood state during exercise following AMSD. A two-way ANOVA test will be used to analyze our data.
Emily Decker, ’07 Monticello, IA
Major: Physical Education
Sponsor: Julia Moffitt