Description: Acute sleep loss may lead to elevated fatigue, decreased energy, and diminished cognitive performance. Traditionally, sleep extension is used to restore mood and cognitive function to baseline levels following insufficient sleep, yet this method may not be feasible or preferred. Acute exercise may serve as an affordable and relatively safe intervention to reduce detriments to daytime functioning following sleep loss. The primary purpose of this study was to examine the effects of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise on neurocognitive function following acute sleep restriction. A secondary aim was to examine the effects of exercise in subjective reports of fatigue, energy, and sleepiness following acute sleep restriction. Fifty-six participants, matched by sex, age, and chronotype, were randomly assigned to either an exercise (EX) or seated control (SC) condition. Following a 4-hour sleep restriction protocol, participants completed the oddball paradigm before and after 20 minutes of exercise or stationary sitting. P3 amplitude and latency, arousal, sleepiness, energy, and fatigue were assessed during the experiment. After controlling for pre-test differences, P3 latency was significantly faster following exercise relative to the control group. No significant P3 amplitude differences were observed between conditions. The EX group displayed significant improvements in arousal, sleepiness, energy, and fatigue compared to the SC group. Findings suggest that 20 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise following acute sleep restriction may improve cognitive processing speeds, as well as improve arousal, sleepiness, energy, and fatigue.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Carmichael, Kaitlyn E.
Partner: UNT Libraries