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Subjective health perception in healthy young men changes in response to experimentally restricted sleep and subsequent recovery sleep

Journal article
Authors M. Lekander
A. N. Andreasson
G. Kecklund
Rolf Ekman
M. Ingre
T. Akerstedt
J. Axelsson
Published in Brain Behavior and Immunity
Volume 34
Pages 43-46
ISSN 0889-1591
Publication year 2013
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Pages 43-46
Language en
Keywords Subjective health, Self-rated health, Inflammation, Sleep, Sleep restriction, Fatigue, Cytokines, SELF-RATED HEALTH, INFLAMMATORY CYTOKINES, INTERLEUKIN-6, MARKERS, WOMEN, DEPRIVATION, POPULATION, MORTALITY, DURATION, INSOMNIA
Subject categories Neurobiology, Neuroscience


Sleep and subjective health are both prospectively related to objective indices of health and health care use. Here, we tested whether five days with restricted sleep and subsequent recovery days affect subjective health and is related to increased levels of circulating IL-6 and TNF-alpha and fatigue. Nine healthy men (23-28 years) went through a 6-week sleep protocol with subjects as their own controls in a repeated measures design with a total of 11 nights in a sleep laboratory. The experimental part of the protocol included three baseline days (sleep 23-07 h), five days with sleep restriction (03-07 h) and three recovery days (23-07 h) in the sleep laboratory. Subjective health and fatigue was recorded daily. Eight blood samples were drawn each day (every third hour) on 8 days of the protocol and analyzed with respect to IL-6 and TNF-alpha. Subjective health deteriorated gradually during restricted sleep (p = .002) and returned to baseline levels after three days of recovery. IL-6 and TNF-alpha did not change significantly. Fatigue increased gradually during sleep restriction (p = .001), which significantly contributed to the association between restricted sleep and subjective health. The study is the first to show that subjective health is directly responsive to changes in sleep length and related to increased fatigue. Thus, subjective health is differently appraised after manipulation of one of its presumed determinants. Larger experimental studies would be beneficial to further distinguish causation from association regarding the underpinnings of subjective health. (C) 2013 Published by Elsevier Inc.

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