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Repeated Challenge of Insufficient Sleep: Endothelial Effects

This study is ongoing, but not recruiting participants.
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Janet M Mullington, PhD, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Identifier:
First received: January 30, 2012
Last updated: April 12, 2017
Last verified: April 2017
The 24-hour-a-day, 7-day a week, work-world arrived within our lifetimes, and is here to stay. Americans are working more and more, frequently at multiple jobs. The pattern of short sleep during the week followed by attempts to recover on the weekend is in common practice, but we know little of the associated health risks. What is the cost in terms of increasing known risk markers for cardiovascular disease, of repeated nights of insufficient sleep, and is this cost compounded with repetition, without adequate recovery? Evidence is accumulating to suggest that short sleep duration is linked to the development of metabolic and inflammation-associated diseases, such as cardiovascular disease. Mechanisms involved in the development of cardiovascular disease include impaired vascular function and inflammation. The current proposal is designed to investigate the effects of repeated periods of short nocturnal sleep duration in 4 cycles (each cycle consisting of 3 nights of 4 hours of sleep opportunity per night), and each cycle of short sleep followed by a single night of recovery sleep. Vascular reactivity will be assessed using brachial artery flow mediated dilation, and microcirculatory vasodilation will be assessed using perfusion imaging techniques. The dependence of IL-6 and sVCAM-1 as measured in peripheral circulation, on vascular function, will also be investigated.

Condition Intervention
Repeated Short Sleep Schedule
Behavioral: repeated cycles of short sleep

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Investigator, Outcomes Assessor
Masking Description:
Participants were randomized to condition. Vascular reactivity testing was performed by operator who was blind to condition and outcomes assessment from that testing was also blind.
Primary Purpose: Basic Science
Official Title: Repeated Challenge of Insufficient Sleep: Effects on Endothelial Function

Further study details as provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Vascular reactivity [ Time Frame: 22 days ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Inflammation [ Time Frame: 22 days ]

Estimated Enrollment: 52
Actual Study Start Date: August 2011
Estimated Study Completion Date: January 2018
Primary Completion Date: September 2014 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Placebo Comparator: normal sleep
Subjects have 8 hours of sleep opportunity per night
Behavioral: repeated cycles of short sleep
- 3 nights of 4 hours of sleep followed by a single recovery night of 8 hours; repeated for 4 cycles
Experimental: cycles of sleep restriction
subjects are exposed to bouts of reduced sleep duration. The sleep loss is the intervention (experimental challenge).
Behavioral: repeated cycles of short sleep
- 3 nights of 4 hours of sleep followed by a single recovery night of 8 hours; repeated for 4 cycles

Detailed Description:
Due to work, family, social and community obligations, millions of Americans cut back on sleep for several nights in a row before having an opportunity to catch up. When the opportunity does arise, it may only be for a single night, before the cycle of insufficient sleep repeats. This study investigated what happens to human biology when insufficient sleep becomes chronic and opportunities for recovery sleep are intermittent. It also investigated recovery sleep itself, and the biological processes involved in reversing the effects of an accumulated sleep deficit due to insufficient sleep duration.

Ages Eligible for Study:   25 Years to 55 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Healthy volunteers
  • Regular sleep-wake schedule

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Diseases or medical conditions, including sleep disorders
  • Current smoking
  • Pregnant or nursing
  • Recent time zone travel or shift work
  • Regular medication use
  • High blood pressure
  Contacts and Locations
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01523535

United States, Massachusetts
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02215
Sponsors and Collaborators
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
Principal Investigator: Janet M Mullington, Ph.D. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  More Information

Responsible Party: Janet M Mullington, PhD, Associate Professor of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Identifier: NCT01523535     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 2010P000365
R01HL106782 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
Study First Received: January 30, 2012
Last Updated: April 12, 2017
Individual Participant Data  
Plan to Share IPD: No processed this record on May 22, 2017