Scientific article
Open access

The Sleep/Wake Cycle is Directly Modulated by Changes in Energy Balance

Published inSleep, vol. 39, no. 9, p. 1691-1700
Publication date2016-09-01

Study objectives: The rise in obesity has been paralleled by a decline in sleep duration in epidemiological studies. However, the potential mechanisms linking energy balance and the sleep/wake cycle are not well understood. We aimed to examine the effects of manipulating energy balance on the sleep/wake cycle.

Methods: Twelve healthy normal weight men were housed in a clinical research facility and studied at three time points: baseline, after energy balance was disrupted by 2 days of caloric restriction to 10% of energy requirements, and after energy balance was restored by 2 days of ad libitum/free feeding. Sleep architecture, duration of sleep stages, and sleep-associated respiratory parameters were measured by polysomnography.

Results: Two days of caloric restriction significantly increased the duration of deep (stage 4) sleep (16.8% to 21.7% of total sleep time; P = 0.03); an effect which was entirely reversed upon free feeding (P = 0.01). Although the apnea-hypopnea index stayed within the reference range (< 5 events per hour), it decreased significantly from caloric restriction to free feeding (P = 0.03). Caloric restriction was associated with a marked fall in leptin (P < 0.001) and insulin levels (P = 0.002). The fall in orexin levels from baseline to caloric restriction correlated positively with duration of stage 4 sleep (Spearman rho = 0.83, P = 0.01) and negatively with the number of awakenings in caloric restriction (Spearman rho = -0.79, P = 0.01).

Conclusions: We demonstrate that changes in energy homeostasis directly and reversibly impact on the sleep/wake cycle. These findings provide a mechanistic framework for investigating the association between sleep duration and obesity risk.

  • Caloric restriction
  • Leptin
  • Orexin
  • Sleep
  • Adult
  • Caloric Restriction
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / etiology
  • Polysomnography
  • Sleep / physiology
  • Sleep Stages / physiology
  • Time Factors
Affiliation Not a UNIGE publication
Research group
  • Wellcome Trust - [099038/Z/12/Z]
  • Medical Research Council - [MC_UU_12012/5/B]
  • Novo Nordisk Fonden - [NNF12OC1016479]
Citation (ISO format)
COLLET, Tinh-Hai et al. The Sleep/Wake Cycle is Directly Modulated by Changes in Energy Balance. In: Sleep, 2016, vol. 39, n° 9, p. 1691–1700. doi: 10.5665/sleep.6094
Main files (1)
Article (Published version)
Secondary files (1)
ISSN of the journal0161-8105

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