Assessment of effects of total sleep deprivation and subsequent recovery sleep : a methodological strategy feasible without sleep laboratory

Faculty/Professorship: Physiological Psychology  
Author(s): Strömel-Scheder, Cindy ; Lautenbacher, Stefan
Publisher Information: Bamberg : Otto-Friedrich-Universität
Year of publication: 2022
Pages: 16
Source/Other editions: BMC psychology, 9 (2021), 1, 16 S. - ISSN: 2050-7283
is version of: 10.1186/s40359-021-00641-3
Year of first publication: 2021
Language(s): English
Licence: Creative Commons - CC BY - Attribution 4.0 International 
URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:473-irb-547138

Sleep is critical for maintaining homeostasis in bodily and neurobehavioral functions. This homeostasis can be disturbed by sleep interruption and restored to normal by subsequent recovery sleep. Most research regarding recovery sleep (RS) effects has been conducted in specialized sleep laboratories, whereas small, less-well equipped research units may lack the possibilities to run studies in this area. Hence, the aims of the present study were to develop and validate an experimental protocol, which allows a thorough assessment of at-home recovery sleep after sleep deprivation.


The experimental protocol, comprising one night of baseline sleep (BL) at home, one night of monitored total sleep deprivation and a subsequent recovery night at home, was tested in a sample of 30 healthy participants. Subjects’ fatigue and alertness were assessed prior to and after each night. Sleep at home (BL, RS) was objectively assessed using portable polysomnography. To check whether our at-home sleep assessments yielded results that are comparable to those conducted in sleep laboratories, we compared the sleep data assessed in our study with sleep data assessed in laboratory studies.


Sleep parameters assessed during RS exhibited changes as expected (prolonged total sleep time, better sleep efficiency, slow wave sleep rebound). Sleep parameters of BL and RS were in line with parameters assessed in previous studies examining sleep in a laboratory setting. Fatigue normalized after one night of RS; alertness partly recovered.


Our results suggest a successful implementation of our new experimental protocol, emphasizing it as a useful tool for future studies on RS outside of well-equipped sleep laboratories.
GND Keywords: Schlafstörung; Schlafentzug
Keywords: Total sleep deprivation, Recovery sleep, Portable polysomnography, Alertness, Fatigue
DDC Classification: 610 Medicine & health  
RVK Classification: YH 4200   
Type: Article
Release Date: 8. August 2022

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