Diurnal Variation and Twenty-Four Hour Sleep Deprivation Do Not Alter Supine Heart Rate Variability in Healthy Male Young Adults

Quintana, Daniel S.; Elvsåshagen, Torbjørn; Zak, Nathalia; Norbom, Linn B.; Pedersen, Per Ø.; Quraishi, Sophia H.; Bjørnerud, Atle; Malt, Ulrik F.; Groote, Inge R.; Kaufmann, Tobias; Andreassen, Ole A.; Westlye, Lars T.

Heart rate variability (HRV) has become an increasingly popular index of cardiac autonomic control in the biobehavioral sciences due to its relationship with mental illness and cognitive traits. However, the intraindividual stability of HRV in response to sleep and diurnal disturbances, which are commonly reported in mental illness, and its relationship with executive function are not well understood. Here, in 40 healthy adult males we calculated high frequency HRV—an index of parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) activity—using pulse oximetry during brain imaging, and assessed attentional and executive function performance in a subsequent behavioral test session at three time points: morning, evening, and the following morning. Twenty participants were randomly selected for total sleep deprivation whereas the other 20 participants slept as normal. Sleep deprivation and morning-to-night variation did not influence high frequency HRV at either a group or individual level; however, sleep deprivation abolished the relationship between orienting attention performance and HRV. We conclude that a day of wake and a night of laboratory-induced sleep deprivation do not alter supine high frequency HRV in young healthy male adults.


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Academic Units
Neuroscience and Behavior (Barnard College)
Public Library of Science
Published Here
March 28, 2017