Cold thermoregulatory changes induced by sleep deprivation in men

  • Gustave Savourey
  • Jacques Bittel
Original Articles


The aim of this study was to evaluate the thermoregulatory changes induced by 27-h of sleep deprivation (SD) in men at rest both in a comfortable ambient temperature and in cold air. A group of 12 male subjects were placed in a comfortable ambient temperature (dry bulb temperature,Tdb = 25° C, relative humidity, rh = 40%–50% , clothing insulation = 1 clo) for 1 h and then they were submitted to a standard cold air test in a climatic chamber for 2h (Tdb=1° C, rh = 40%–50%, wind speed = 0.8 m·s−1, nude), before and after 27 h of sleep deprivation. Thermoregulatory changes (rectal temperature,Tre; mean skin temperature,\(\overline T \)sk; metabolic heat production\(\dot M\)) were monitored continuously. At comfortable ambient temperature, no significant change was observed after SD forTre,\(\overline T \)sk and\(\dot M\). During the cold test,Tre did not change but\(\overline T \)sk and\(\dot M\)were higher after SD (P<0.05). Increased\(\dot M\)(+ 6%,P < 0.05) was related to earlier and higher shivering, with a possible increase in the sensitivity of the thermoregulatory system as shown by the shorter time to onset of continous shivering (d): 8.66 (SEM 1.33) min versus 28.20 (SEM 1.33) min (P < 0.001) and by a higher\(\overline T \)sk observed at d: 27.60 (SEM 1.40)° C versus 21.40 (SEM 0.60)° C (P < 0.001). These results were associated with higher cold sensations and shivering following SD. They also suggested that SD modified thermoregulatory responses at a central level especially in a cold environment.

Key words

Thermoregulation Cold Sleep deprivation Men 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gustave Savourey
    • 1
  • Jacques Bittel
    • 1
  1. 1.Unité de ThermophysiologieCentre de Recherches du Service de Santé des ArméesLa Tronche Cédex 07France

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