European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 115, Issue 10, pp 2059–2068 | Cite as

Two nights of sleep deprivation with or without energy restriction does not impair the thermal response to cold

  • Samuel J. Oliver
  • Adam D. Harper Smith
  • Ricardo J. S. Costa
  • Norbert Maassen
  • James L. J. Bilzon
  • Neil P. Walsh
Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

In persons completing exhaustive daily exercise, sleep and energy restriction have been highlighted as risk factors for hypothermia in cold environments. The present study therefore sought to determine the effect of sleep deprivation (SDEP), with and without energy restriction, on the thermal response to cold.

Methods

In a random order, ten recreationally active men (mean ± SD: age 25 ± 6 years, body fat 17 ± 5 %) completed three 53 h trials: a control (CON: 436 min/night sleep), SDEP (0 min sleep), and sleep deprivation and energy restriction (SDEP + ER: 0 min sleep and 10 % daily energy requirements). Exhaustive exercise was completed after 5 and 29 h. After 53 h participants completed a semi-nude seated cold air test (CAT, 0 °C), for 4 h or until rectal core temperature (Tre) reached 36 °C.

Results

Two nights of sleep and energy restriction did not impair the thermal response to cold (Tre, CON 36.15 ± 0.20 °C, SDEP 36.30 ± 0.15 °C, SDEP + ER 36.25 ± 0.20 °C, P = 0.25). Rewarming was also similar as indicated by 1 h post-CAT Tre (P = 0.78). In contrast, perceived thermal discomfort during the initial hour of the CAT tended to be greater after SDEP and SDEP + ER (P ≤ 0.1).

Conclusion

Sleep and energy restriction, at least as evaluated within this experiment, should be considered minimal risk factors for hypothermia. The greater perception of cold discomfort at the same body temperature suggests that sleep and energy restriction may actually reduce cold injury risk, as people are likely to engage earlier in normal behavioral cold adaptation.

Keywords

Thermoregulation Sleep loss Cold injury Hypothermia Thermogenesis 

Abbreviations

ANOVA

Analysis of variance

AD

Body surface area

CAT

Cold air test

CON

Control trial

EDTA

Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid

ER

Energy restriction

M

Metabolic heat production

Mean Tsk

Mean skin temperature

RER

Respiratory exchange ratio

RPE

Ratings of perceived exertion

SDEP

Sleep deprivation

SDEP + ER

Sleep deprivation and energy restriction

Tbicep

Bicep skin temperature

Tcalf

Calf skin temperature

Tchest

Chest skin temperature

Tre

Rectal core temperature

Tthigh

Thigh skin temperature

RH

Relative humidity

VO2

Oxygen uptake

VO2max

Maximal oxygen uptake

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samuel J. Oliver
    • 1
  • Adam D. Harper Smith
    • 1
  • Ricardo J. S. Costa
    • 1
    • 2
  • Norbert Maassen
    • 3
  • James L. J. Bilzon
    • 4
  • Neil P. Walsh
    • 1
  1. 1.Extremes Research GroupBangor UniversityBangorUK
  2. 2.Department of Nutrition and DieteticsMonash UniversityMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.Institute of Sports ScienceLeibniz Universität HannoverHannoverGermany
  4. 4.Department for HealthUniversity of BathBathUK

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