Sleep Deprived? Try This Type of Exercise.

A Review by Alyssa Bialowas

Sleep deprivation is becoming more and more prevalent these days and unfortunately can have major health implications. Sleep influences everything from your mood to your weight to the sensitivity of tissues to insulin, and a lack of sleep can result in insulin resistance (De Souza et al. 2017). On top of health benefits such as increasing energy levels and lowering your risk of disease, regular physical exercise has been shown to minimize the negative impact of insulin resistance and regulate glucose metabolism (De Souza et al. 2017). Since our busy schedules are contributing to both a lack of sleep and physical exercise, high-intensity interval training, which involves a shorter training time, could be the key to minimizing the damage done by sleep deprivation.

The Study

11 healthy males between the ages of 18 and 35 who declared sleeping 7-8 hours a night took part in this study. Each participant was submitted to four different conditions:

(1) One single night of regular 8-hour sleep (RS)

(2) 24 hours of sleep deprivation (SD)

(3) HIIT followed by regular sleep (HIIT+RS)

(4) HIIT followed by sleep deprivation (HIIT+SD).

In the HIIT+RS condition, subjects trained for two weeks and after the last day of training had a regular night’s sleep. Each session consisted of 8-12 x 60-second intervals at 100% of peak power output. After one month, all participants returned to begin the HIIT+SD condition. They repeated the training protocol and after training finished, they were deprived sleep for 24 consecutive hours.

Related Article: 3 Ways Sleep Impacts Sports Performance

The Results

In each experimental condition, tests for glucose, insulin, cortisol, free fatty acids, and insulin sensitivity measured by an oral glucose tolerance test, were performed. Sleep deprivation increased glycemia, insulin levels, free fatty acids concentrations, and basal metabolism. No differences were found in the concentrations of cortisol. However, HIIT before 24 hours of sleep deprivation diminished the increase in glucose, insulin and fatty acids. The study also found that two weeks of HIIT was efficient in improving the athletic performance of participants. In the 4 km test, the participants decreased their times by 7% in the HIIT+RS condition and 9% in the HIIT+SD condition. In the 30 km test, the participants decreased their times by 1.2% in the HIIT+RS condition and 11% in the HIIT+SD condition.

The Takeaway

This study suggests that those who participate in HIIT are not affected by the stress of sleep deprivation. HIIT prior to sleep deprivation attenuated the increase in glucose, insulin and fatty free acids in the blood. Further research should include a larger sample size and other populations to determine the strength of these findings.

Related Article: Exercise-Induced Sleep Improvements

References

De Souza, J.F.T., Dáttilo, M., De Mello, M.T., Tufik, S., and Antunes, H.K.M. (2017). “High Intensity Interval Training Attenuates Insulin Resistance Induced by Sleep Deprivation in Healthy Males.” Frontiers in Physiology, 8: 992.

You Might Like:

Man and woman flexing

Muscular Potential: Men vs Women

It has long been thought that when it comes to building muscle, women are at a massive disadvantage. Whether it be because of hormone levels, muscle fiber distribution, or some other factor that we aren’t...
Man weightlifting at the gym

The Effects Of Inter-Set Stretching On Muscle Growth

When we think about building muscle, developing strength, and generally increasing performance, strength training often sits right at the top of the lift. Which is fair enough, because it works, and works incredibly well. But...

Exercising With An Autoimmune Disorder

Hunter Bennett Exercise is hands down the most important thing you can do for your body. It improves the health of your heart, muscles, and bones, staves off the onset of physical and mental illness,...
Man running on a path

The Autoimmune Athlete

Hunter Bennett Being an elite athlete poses a unique set of challenges that very few people are emotionally, physically, and mentally prepared for. Gruelling training sessions, an incredibly strict diet, and a lifestyle that is...
group doing tai chi on a beach

Can I Exercise With An Overactive Thyroid?

Hunter Bennett An overactive thyroid is one of the most common hormonal issues to afflict modern man. It can affect your metabolism, your weight, your cardiovascular health, and even your emotional wellbeing. But what is...
Woman doing yoga outside

Exercising With Thyroid Disorders

Hunter Bennett Exercise is hands down one of the most beneficial things that you can do for your body. It staves off weight gain, helps you build lean muscle mass, and can even enhance your...
man asleep on a bed with white sheets

How Intermittent Fasting Affects Sleep

man stretching on a log

The Ketogenic Diet: How It Affects Athletic Performance

The word keto spelled with food

The Effects of Exercising On a High Fat Diet

How Core Strength Effects Athletic Performance

How Core Strength Effects Athletic Performance

Generation 100: The 3 Year Follow Up

Generation 100: The 3 Year Follow Up

Woman standing on the beach in athletic gear pointing at the sky

The Best Workout Combination: Endurance Training and HIIT

The Effects of Sleep Quality and HIIT

The Effects of Sleep Quality and HIIT

Sleep Naked

5 Benefits of Sleeping Naked: The Scientific Facts

prolonging your athletic career impacts longevity

How Prolonging Your Athletic Career Impacts Longevity

Weight Training Techniques: Benefits of Unilateral Training

Weight Training Techniques: The Benefits of Unilateral Training

Leave a Reply