Effects of sleep disturbances on subsequent physical performance

Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol. 1991;63(2):77-82. doi: 10.1007/BF00235173.


The purpose of the study was to compare the cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic responses to exercise of highly endurance trained subjects after 3 different nights i.e. a baseline night, a partial sleep deprivation of 3 h in the middle of the night and a 0.25-mg triazolam-induced sleep. Sleep-waking chronobiology and endurance performance capacity were taken into account in the choice of the subjects. Seven subjects exercised on a cycle ergometer for a 10-min warm-up, then for 20 min at a steady exercise intensity (equal to the intensity corresponding to 75% of the predetermined maximal oxygen consumption) followed by an increased intensity until exhaustion. The night with 3 h sleep loss was accompanied by a greater number of periods of wakefulness (P less than 0.01) and fewer periods of stage 2 sleep (P less than 0.05) compared with the results recorded during the baseline night. Triazolam-induced sleep led to an increase in stage 2 sleep (P less than 0.05), a decrease in wakefulness (P less than 0.05) and in stage 3 sleep (P less than 0.05). After partial sleep deprivation, there were statistically significant increases in heart rate (P less than 0.05) and ventilation (P less than 0.05) at submaximal exercise compared with results obtained after the baseline night. Both variables were also significantly enhanced at maximal exercise, while the peak oxygen consumption (VO2) dropped (P less than 0.05) even though the maximal sustained exercise intensity was not different.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Hemodynamics / drug effects
  • Hemodynamics / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lactates / blood
  • Male
  • Metabolism / drug effects
  • Metabolism / physiology
  • Oxygen Consumption / drug effects
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Respiration / drug effects
  • Respiration / physiology
  • Respiratory Function Tests
  • Sleep Deprivation / physiology*
  • Sleep Stages / drug effects
  • Triazolam / pharmacology


  • Lactates
  • Triazolam