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Napping reverses the salivary interleukin-6 and urinary norepinephrine changes induced by sleep restriction.

Research paper by Brice B Faraut, Samir S Nakib, Catherine C Drogou, Maxime M Elbaz, Fabien F Sauvet, Jean-Pascal JP De Bandt, Damien D Léger

Indexed on: 11 Feb '15Published on: 11 Feb '15Published in: The Journal of clinical endocrinology and metabolism



Abstract

Neuroendocrine and immune stresses imposed by chronic sleep restriction are known to be involved in the harmful cardiovascular effects associated with poor sleep.Despite a well-known beneficial effect of napping on alertness, its effects on neuroendocrine stress and immune responses after sleep restriction are largely unknown.This study was a strictly controlled (sleep-wake status, light environment, caloric intake), crossover, randomized design in continuously polysomnography-monitored subjects.The study was conducted in a laboratory-based study.The subjects were 11 healthy young men.We investigated the effects on neuroendocrine and immune biomarkers of a night of sleep restricted to 2 h followed by a day without naps or with 30 minute morning and afternoon naps, both conditions followed by an ad libitum recovery night starting at 20:00.Salivary interleukin-6 and urinary catecholamines were assessed throughout the daytime study periods.The increase in norepinephrine values seen at the end of the afternoon after the sleep-restricted night was not present when the subjects had the opportunity to take naps. Interleukin-6 changes observed after sleep deprivation were also normalized after napping. During the recovery day in the no-nap condition, there were increased levels of afternoon epinephrine and dopamine, which was not the case in the nap condition. A recovery night after napping was associated with a reduced amount of slow-wave sleep compared to after the no-nap condition.Our data suggest that napping has stress-releasing and immune effects. Napping could be easily applied in real settings as a countermeasure to the detrimental health consequences of sleep debt.