Int J Sports Med 2004; 25(6): 421-426
DOI: 10.1055/s-2004-815845
Physiology & Biochemistry

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Sleep Deprivation, Energy Expenditure and Cardiorespiratory Function

J. P. R. Scott1 , L. R. McNaughton2
  • 1Department of Sport and Exercise Science, Bath University, UK
  • 2Department of Sport Science, University of Hull, UK
Further Information

Publication History

Accepted after revision: August 10, 2003

Publication Date:
18 May 2004 (online)


Participants in the sport of adventure racing often choose to go without sleep for a period of greater than 24 h while partaking in prolonged submaximal exercise. This study examined the effect of 30 h of sleep deprivation and intermittent physical exercise, on the cardiorespiratory markers of submaximal exercise in six subjects. Six subjects with the following physical characteristics participated in the study (mean ± SD): age 22 ± 0.3 years, height 180 ± 5 cm, body mass: 77 ± 5 kg, VO2peak 44 ± 5 ml · kg-1 · min-1. Three subjects engaged in normal sedentary activities while three others cycled on a cycle ergometer at 50 % VO2peak for 20 min out of every two hours during thirty hours of sleep deprivation. One week later sleep deprivation was repeated with a cross over of subjects. Every four hours, subjects completed assessments of cardiorespiratory function during 50 % VO2peak cycling. A 3 × 8 repeated measures ANOVA revealed a significantly lower heart rate with sleep deprivation (p < 0.05), but no other significant effects (p > 0.05) on respiratory gas exchange variables. Neither sleep deprivation, nor a combination of sleep deprivation and five hours of moderate intensity cycling, appear to be limiting factors to the physiological capacity to perform submaximal exercise.


PhD, FACSM Lars R. McNaughton

Department of Sport Science, University of Hull

Hull HU6 7RX


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