The separate and combined effects of hypoxia and sustained recumbency/inactivity on sleep architecture.

European journal of applied physiology

PubMedID: 24920550

Rojc B, Morrison SA, Eiken O, Mekjavic IB, Dolenc-Grošelj L. The separate and combined effects of hypoxia and sustained recumbency/inactivity on sleep architecture. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2014;.
PURPOSE
The objective was to determine the separate and combined effects of hypoxia and inactivity/unloading on sleep architecture during a 10-day period of confinement.

METHODS
Ten subjects participated in three 10-day trials in random order: hypoxic ambulatory (HAMB), hypoxic bedrest (HBR), and normoxic bedrest (NBR). During the HAMB and HBR trials, subjects were confined to a hypoxic facility. The hypoxia profile was: simulated altitude of 2,990 m on day 1, 3,380 m on day 2, and 3,881 m on day 3. In the NBR and HBR trials, subjects maintained a horizontal position throughout the confinement period. During each trial, sleep polysomnography was conducted one night prior to (baseline; altitude of facility is 940 m) and on the first (NT1, altitude 2,990 m) and tenth (NT10, altitude 3,881 m) night of the 10-day intervention.

RESULTS
Average time in sleep stage 1 decreased from NT1 to NT10 irrespective of trial. Overall incidence and time spent in periodic breathing increased from NT1 to NT10 in both HAMB and HBR. During NT1, both HAMB and HBR reduced slow-wave sleep and increased light sleep, whereas NBR and HBR increased the number of awakenings/night. There were fewer awakenings during HAMB than NBR.

CONCLUSIONS
Acute exposure to both hypoxia and bedrest (HBR) results in greater sleep fragmentation due to more awakenings attributed to bedrest, and lighter sleep as a result of reduced slow wave sleep caused by the hypoxic environment.