Effects of sleep deprivation and 4-7-8 breathing control on heart rate variability, blood pressure, blood glucose, and endothelial function in healthy young adults

Physiol Rep. 2022 Jul;10(13):e15389. doi: 10.14814/phy2.15389.


This study investigated the effects of sleep deprivation on heart rate variability (HRV), blood pressure (BP), fasting blood glucose (FBG), and endothelial function as well as the immediate effects of 4-7-8 breathing control on HRV and BP. In total, 43 healthy participants aged 19-25 years were classified into two groups: Twenty two in the with sleep deprivation group and 21 in the without sleep deprivation (control) group. Resting heart rate (HR), BP, HRV, FBG, and endothelial function were examined. Subsequently, participants practiced 4-7-8 breathing control for six cycles/set for three sets interspersed between each set by 1-min normal breathing. Thereafter, the HR, BP, and HRV were immediately examined. The HRV, HR, and BP variables and FBG were not significantly different between the two groups. However, endothelial function was significantly lower in the sleep deprivation group than that in the control group (p < 0.05). In response to 4-7-8 breathing control, low- and very-low-frequency powers significantly decreased (p < 0.05), whereas high-frequency power significantly increased (p < 0.05) in the control group. Moreover, time domain, total power, and very-low-frequency power significantly decreased (p < 0.05) in the sleep deprivation group. Both groups had significantly decreased HR and systolic BP (p < 0.05). HRV, HR, and BP variables showed no significant differences between the groups. Healthy young adults with and without sleep deprivation may have similar HRV, BP, and FBG values. However, sleep deprivation may cause decreased endothelial function. Furthermore, 4-7-8 breathing control can help participants improve their HRV and BP, particularly in those without sleep deprivation.

Keywords: autonomic nervous system; blood sugar; breathing exercise; endothelium; sleep.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Breathing Exercises
  • Endothelial Cells / physiology
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Sleep Deprivation*
  • Young Adult


  • Blood Glucose