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The effect of sleep restriction, with or without high-intensity interval exercise, on myofibrillar protein synthesis in healthy young men


Saner, NJ and Lee, MJ and Pitchford, NW and Kuang, J and Roach, GD and Garnham, A and Stokes, T and Phillips, SM and Bishop, DJ and Bartlett, JD, The effect of sleep restriction, with or without high-intensity interval exercise, on myofibrillar protein synthesis in healthy young men, Journal of Physiology, 598, (8) pp. 1523-1536. ISSN 0022-3751 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 The Authors. The Journal of Physiology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of The Physiological Society. DOI: 10.1113/JP278828 This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

DOI: doi:10.1113/JP278828


The present study aimed to investigate the effect of sleep restriction, with or without high-intensity interval exercise (HIIE), on the potential mechanisms underpinning previously-reported sleep-loss-induced reductions to muscle mass. Twenty-four healthy, young men underwent a protocol consisting of two nights of controlled baseline sleep and a five-night intervention period. Participants were allocated into one of three parallel groups, matched for age, O2peak , body mass index and habitual sleep duration; a normal sleep (NS) group [8 h time in bed (TIB) each night], a sleep restriction (SR) group (4 h TIB each night), and a sleep restriction and exercise group (SR+EX, 4 h TIB each night, with three sessions of HIIE). Deuterium oxide was ingested prior to commencing the study and muscle biopsies obtained pre- and post-intervention were used to assess myofibrillar protein synthesis (MyoPS) and molecular markers of protein synthesis and degradation signalling pathways. MyoPS was lower in the SR group [fractional synthetic rate (% day1), mean SD, 1.24 0.21] compared to both the NS (1.53 0.09) and SR+EX groups (1.61 0.14) (P < 0.05). However, there were no changes in the purported regulators of protein synthesis (i.e. p-AKTser473 and p-mTORser2448) and degradation (i.e. Foxo1/3 mRNA and LC3 protein) in any group. These data suggest that MyoPS is acutely reduced by sleep restriction, although MyoPS can be maintained by performing HIIE. These findings may explain the sleep-loss-induced reductions in muscle mass previously reported and also highlight the potential therapeutic benefit of HIIE to maintain myofibrillar remodelling in this context.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:sleep restriction, diabetes, insulin, high-intensity exercise
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Sports science and exercise
Research Field:Exercise physiology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Allied health therapies (excl. mental health services)
UTAS Author:Pitchford, NW (Dr Nathan Pitchford)
ID Code:138285
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:21
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2020-03-31
Last Modified:2021-08-04
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