Chronic High-Caloric Diet Modifies Sleep Homeostasis in Mice

Eur J Neurosci. 2018 Jun;47(11):1339-1352. doi: 10.1111/ejn.13932. Epub 2018 May 30.


Obesity prevalence and sleep habit changes are commonplace nowadays, due to modern lifestyle. A bidirectional relationship likely exists between sleep quality and metabolic disruptions, which could impact quality of life. In our study, we investigated the effects of a chronic high-caloric diet on sleep architecture and sleep regulation in mice. We studied the effect of 3 months high-caloric diet (HCD, 45% fat) on sleep and the sleep electroencephalogram (EEG) in C57BL/6J mice during 24-hr baseline (BL) recordings, and after 6-hr sleep deprivation (SD). We examined the effect of HCD on sleep homeostasis, by performing parameter estimation analysis and simulations of the sleep homeostatic Process S, a measure of sleep pressure, which is reflected in the non-rapid-eye-movement (NREM) sleep slow-wave-activity (SWA, EEG power density between 0.5 and 4.0 Hz). Compared to controls (n = 11, 30.7 ± 0.8 g), mice fed with HCD (n = 9, 47.6 ± 0.8 g) showed an increased likelihood of consecutive NREM-REM sleep cycles, increased REM sleep and decreased NREM sleep EEG SWA. After SD, these effects were more pronounced. The simulation resulted in a close fit between the time course of SWA and Process S in both groups. HCD fed mice had a slower time constant (Ti = 15.98 hr) for the increase in homeostatic sleep pressure compared with controls (5.95 hr) indicating a reduced effect of waking on the increase in sleep pressure. Our results suggest that chronic HCD consumption impacts sleep regulation.

Keywords: SWA; EEG; sleep deprivation; sleep regulation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diet / adverse effects*
  • Electroencephalography
  • Electromyography
  • Energy Intake*
  • Homeostasis / physiology*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Sleep Deprivation / physiopathology*
  • Sleep, REM / physiology*
  • Sleep, Slow-Wave / physiology*
  • Wakefulness / physiology*