Try the modernized beta website. Learn more about the modernization effort.
Working… Menu

Self Awakening and Snoozing Effects on the Cortisol Awakening Response (SASECAR)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Know the risks and potential benefits of clinical studies and talk to your health care provider before participating. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT04129593
Recruitment Status : Not yet recruiting
First Posted : October 17, 2019
Last Update Posted : October 18, 2019
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Stephen Mattingly, University of Notre Dame

Brief Summary:
One third of American adults and teens are sleep deprived, and less than 8% of highschool students achieve recommended amounts of sleep. 85% of Americans consume caffeine daily, and a pilot study we conducted suggests over half of working professionals snooze. Sleep deprivation results in sleep inertia (grogginess) upon waking, and many behaviors are employed to reduce the negative effects of sleep inertia, including self-awakening (SA - going to bed intending to wake at a specific time) and snoozing (setting multiple alarms or using a snooze function). SA reduces sleep inertia and may increase stress system activity before waking, but snoozing is virtually unstudied, though alarms can also increase stress system activity. The cortisol awakening response (CAR) is a boost in the stress hormone, cortisol, that occurs naturally upon waking. The CAR is thought to reduce sleep inertia and to prepare for the anticipated stressors of the day, and this physiological process can be blunted in those who are sleep deprived and/or have medical or psychiatric conditions. This proposal seeks to increase the CAR in healthy individuals through SA and snooze interventions. Participants receive a commercial wearable at the beginning of the week that tracks sleep and heart rate, as well as a study phone that monitors the sleep environment, tracks alarms, and administers cognitive tests after waking to determine sleep inertia. These devices allow a development of baseline waking behavior. On Saturday and Sunday mornings undergo additional including a higher quality heart rate monitor and body temperature sensor. Participants also undergo 2 of 3 conditions; SA, snoozing, and natural waking. In the SA condition, participants intend to wake up 7 hours after they go to bed. In the snooze condition, participants set multiple alarms to terminate 7 hours after bedtime. In the natural waking condition, participants wake up normally. Upon waking, participants provide multiple saliva samples and undergo cognitive performance assessments and answer questions about mood for 1 hour. By comparing the cortisol samples between conditions, we can determine if SA and/or snoozing increases the CAR relative to natural waking. The cognitive performance tests will also be tested between conditions to determine if the interventions reduce sleep inertia and/or increase stress system activity. Interventions that specifically increase the CAR and reduce sleep inertia in healthy individuals could then be tested for those who have blunted CAR, e.g. chronic pain sufferers, to improve quality of life.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Cortisol Awakening Response Behavioral: Self Awakening - Natural Waking Behavioral: Snooze - Natural waking Not Applicable

Layout table for study information
Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 100 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Intervention Model Description: Participants will undergo 1 of 2 conditions on Saturday and Sunday; Self awakening and natural waking, or snooze and natural waking.
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Basic Science
Official Title: Self Awakening and Snoozing Effects on the Cortisol Awakening Response
Estimated Study Start Date : January 1, 2021
Estimated Primary Completion Date : January 1, 2022
Estimated Study Completion Date : January 1, 2023

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Self Awakening
Participant will intend to wake up at a specific time before going to bed.
Behavioral: Self Awakening - Natural Waking
subjects in this arm will be assigned to natural waking and self awaking conditions on Saturday and Sunday. they will be counterbalanced equally between Saturday: natural waking, Sunday: self awakening and Saturday: self awakening, Sunday: natural waking.

Experimental: Snooze
Participant will set multiple alarms before bed to wake at a specific time.
Behavioral: Snooze - Natural waking
subjects in this arm will be assigned to snooze and natural waking conditions on Saturday and Sunday. they will be counterbalanced equally between Saturday: snooze, Sunday: natural waking and Saturday: natural waking, Sunday: snooze.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Cortisol Awakening Response [ Time Frame: 4 samples: immediately upon waking, 15 minutes post waking, 30 minutes post waking, and 45 minutes post waking. Samples are provided for 10 minutes. ]
    A biomarker for Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal activity; a naturally occurring increase in cortisol upon waking.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Heart Rate upon waking [ Time Frame: Heart rate will be continuously assessed for the entire week. Note: data is divided into 1 minute bin averages. ]
    Stress activity before waking can increase heart rate. We want to see if alarms and / or snoozing increase heart rate upon waking

  2. Sleep inertia - cognitive throughput [ Time Frame: During weekdays, sleep inertia will be assessed immediately upon waking, duration is 5 minutes. On Saturday and Sunday, they will be assessed at wake + 10 minutes, wake +25 minutes, wake + 40 minutes, and wake + 55minutes. ]
    sleep inertia is a marked decrease in cognitive abilities upon waking. We wish to see if cognitive performance upon waking is better when snoozing or self awakening.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

Layout table for eligibility information
Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 65 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

Legally able to provide consent -

Exclusion Criteria:

Not legally able to provide consent


Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT04129593

Layout table for location contacts
Contact: Stephen M Mattingly, Ph.D 5135824691

Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Notre Dame
Layout table for additonal information
Responsible Party: Stephen Mattingly, Post-Doctoral Reserarcher, University of Notre Dame Identifier: NCT04129593    
Other Study ID Numbers: 19-08-5534
First Posted: October 17, 2019    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: October 18, 2019
Last Verified: October 2019
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No

Layout table for additional information
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No