Senior Honors Projects, 2010-2019

Creative Commons License

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

Date of Graduation

Spring 2019


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Department of Kinesiology


Trent A. Hargens


Introduction: Sleep quality has been shown to influence autonomic function. The autonomic nervous system (ANS) responds to stressors by regulating key functions such as heart rate. Autonomic function can be monitored via heart rate variability (HRV). Athletes are prone to poor sleep quality due to psychological and physical stresses of training and competing. Our objective was to investigate the function of the ANS at rest and during exercise following a night of normal sleep (SLP+) and a night of restricted sleep (SLP-).

Methods: Subjects (n=9) completed a familiarization trial and two identical experimental trials under different sleep conditions: SLP- (3-hour sleep) and SLP+ (8-hour sleep). Trials consisted of laying supine for 10 min (breathing at 12 bpm) before a 20-min exercise test (10 min at 50% Wmax; 10 min at 60% Wmax) that was followed by a self-paced 3-km time trial. Data were analyzed using paired sample statistics via SPSS software.

Results:Significant differences (P < 0.05) between trials were noted through elevated resting HR after the SLP+ condition and elevated low frequency (LF) power (%) variable in the 60% Wmaxportion of the exercise test during the SLP+ trial. There were no significant differences found in any of the other variables between conditions.

Conclusion: The primary findings of this study indicate that one night of sleep restriction has little impact on HRV during subsequent exercise. These data show that one night of sleep restriction has an effect on resting HR and the LF power (%) variable in the 60% Wmaxportion of the exercise test. The results suggest elevated activity of the sympathetic nervous system during the SLP+ trial. No other variables were impacted by one night of sleep restriction.



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