0220 Total sleep deprivation decreases cardiac vagal activity

Document Type


Publication Date



Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology



Acute 24-hour total sleep deprivation (TSD) elicits a consistent hypertensive response in both men and women. In contrast, divergent sympathetic neural responses to TSD have been reported in men and women, with greater sympathetic predominance in women. Given the previously reported divergence of sympathetic outflow observed between men and women, we hypothesized that TSD would elicit altered cardiac vagal control across sexes. Methods

We examined 28 participants (14 men, 22 ± 1 years, 26 ± 1 kg/m2; 14 women, 22 ± 1 years, 23 ± 1 kg/m2) between the ages of 18 to 40 years. Participants were studied twice, once after 24-hour TSD and once after normal sleep (randomized, cross-over design). We recorded heart rate (electrocardiography) and beat-by-beat blood pressure (finger plethysmography) during 5-min supine, awake rest. Vagal-cardiac activity was assessed with a Fourier transform and quantified as normalized high frequency (HF; 0.15-0.4 Hz), and cardiovagal baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) was assessed with up-up (vagal activation) and down-down (vagal withdrawal) sequence analyses. Results

TSD decreased normalized HF in men (0.41 ± 0.05 to 0.33 ± 0.05 n.u.) and women (0.53 ± 0.03 to 0.44 ± 0.03 n.u.; condition p<0.01), but these responses were not different between sexes (condition × sex, p>0.05). Secondary analysis of up-up and down-down sequencing revealed no difference in cardiovagal BRS. Conclusion

TSD elicits significant reduction of normalized HF in men and women, but these responses were not different between sexes. Our findings provide additional insight into the complex relations between sleep deprivation, autonomic activity, and hypertension.

Publisher's Statement

© Sleep Research Society 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Sleep Research Society. All rights reserved. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsz067.219

Publication Title