Restricted and disrupted sleep: Effects on autonomic function, neuroendocrine stress systems and stress responsivity

Restricted and disrupted sleep: Effects on autonomic function, neuroendocrine stress systems and stress responsivity

Author Meerlo, Peter Google Scholar
Sgoifo, Andrea Google Scholar
Suchecki, Deborah Autor UNIFESP Google Scholar
Institution Univ Groningen
Univ Parma
Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP)
Abstract Frequently disrupted and restricted sleep is a common problem for many people in our modern around-the-clock society. in this context, it is an important question how sleep loss affects the stress systems in our bodies since these systems enable us to deal with everyday challenges. Altered activity and reactivity of these systems following insufficient sleep might have serious repercussions for health and well-being. Studies on both humans and rodents have shown that sleep deprivation and sleep restriction are conditions often associated with mild, temporary increases in the activity of the major neuroendocrine stress systems, i.e., the autonomic sympatho-adrenal system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. sleep deprivation may not only have a direct activating effect by itself but, in the tong run, it may also affect the reactivity of these systems to other stressors and challenges. Although the first signs of alterations in the way people deal with challenges under conditions of restricted sleep appear to be on the level of emotional perception, chronic sleep restriction may ultimately change the fundamental properties of neuroendocrine stress systems as well. Understandably, few controlled studies in humans have been devoted to this topic. Yet, experimental studies in rodents show that chronic sleep restriction may gradually alter neuroendocrine stress responses as well as the central mechanisms involved in the regulation of these responses. Importantly, the available data from studies in laboratory animals suggest that sleep restriction may gradually change certain brain systems and neuroendocrine systems in a manner that is similar to what is seen in stress-related disorders such as depression (e.g., reduced serotonin receptor sensitivity and altered regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis). Such data support the view that insufficient sleep, by acting on stress systems, may sensitize individuals to stress-related disorders. indeed, epidemiological studies suggest that sleep complaints and sleep restriction may be important risk factors for a variety of diseases that are often linked to stress, including cardiovascular diseases and mood disorders. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords sleep deprivation
sleep restriction
sleep disturbance
cardiovascular disease
sympathetic nervous system
hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis
corticotropin-releasing hormone
Language English
Date 2008-06-01
Published in Sleep Medicine Reviews. London: W B Saunders Co Ltd, v. 12, n. 3, p. 197-210, 2008.
ISSN 1087-0792 (Sherpa/Romeo, impact factor)
Publisher W B Saunders Co Ltd
Extent 197-210
Access rights Closed access
Type Review
Web of Science ID WOS:000257451500004

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