Senior Honors Projects, 2010-current

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Award

Spring 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Department of Kinesiology


Trent A. Hargens

Mikel K. Todd

Elizabeth S. Edwards


Purpose: Snoring is the primary, most distinguishable symptom of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Increased activation of the sympathetic tone is also consistently identified in adults with clinically diagnosed OSA. We compared heart rate variability (HRV) in snoring and non-snoring college-aged subjects to assess any HRV alterations between groups that could potentially signify an early marker for developing OSA. Methods: 23 male snorers and 7 male non-snorer subjects were studied. The HRV variables in the R-R heart intervals were compared between the groups via obtaining heart rate from the polar RS800CX monitor and performing an analysis using an independent sample t-test. All subjects were of similar age, body composition, and physical fitness. Results: HRV was not significantly reduced in snoring subjects compared to non-snoring subjects. Age was significantly correlated to pNN50 (r=-0.48, p=0.01), RMSSDLog (r=-0.45, p=0.01), HFLog (r=-0.49, p=0.01), Log LF/HF Ratio (r=0.53, p=0.00), LFnu (r=0.50, p=0.01), and HFnu (r=-0.50, p=0.01). Conclusion: HRV alterations of increased sympathetic tone to parasympathetic tone are not significantly associated with young snorers. Increased age is correlated to elevated imbalance in HRV, most likely due to sympathetic build up over time as a result of increased progression of the sleep disorder. The HRV measure may be a useful indicator of diagnosed OSA in middle- aged adults, but not a powerful indicator of onset OSA in younger individuals because they are at too early of a point in potential progression of the disorder to elicit any significant physiological changes.



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