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Body Temperature & Sleep

| Circadian rhythm & temperature regulation. |

| Carbohydrates and Core Body Temperature. |

| Decrease in body temperature & Sleep Deprivation |

| Progesterone raises body temperature |

| Effects of short nap and exercise on elderly people having difficulty in sleeping. |

| Oral contraceptives alter sleep and raise body temperature in young women. |

| The effect of alcohol consumption on the circadian control of human core body temperature |

| The effects of skin pressure by clothing on circadian rhythms of core temperature and salivary melatonin. |


The circadian rhythm of body temperature  decreases with age

1: Ageing Res Rev 2002 Sep;1(4):721 
Circadian and age-related modulation of thermoreception and temperature regulation: mechanisms and functional implications.

Van Someren E, Raymann R, Scherder E, Daanen H, Swaab D.

The Netherlands Institute for Brain Research, Meibergdreef 33, 1105 AZ, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

At older ages, the circadian rhythm of body temperature shows a decreased amplitude, an advanced phase, and decreased stability. The present review evaluates to what extent these changes may result from age-related deficiencies at several levels of the thermoregulatory system, including thermoreception, thermogenesis and conservation, heat loss, and central regulation. Whereas some changes are related to the aging process per se, others appear to be secondary to other factors, for which the risk increases with aging, notably a decreased level of fitness and physical activity. Moreover, functional implications of the body temperature rhythm are discussed. For example, the relation between circadian rhythm and thermoregulation has hardly been investigated, while evidence showed that sleep quality is dependent on both aspects. It is proposed that the circadian rhythm in temperature in homeotherms should not be regarded as a leftover of ectothermy in early evolution, but appears to be of functional significance for physiology from the level of molecules to cognition. A new view on the functional significance of the circadian rhythm in peripheral vasodilation and the consequent out-of-phase rhythms in skin and core temperature is presented. It is unlikely that the strong, daily occurring, peripheral vasodilation primarily represents heat loss in response to a lowering of set point, since behavioral measures are simultaneously taken in order to prevent heat loss. Several indications rather point towards a supportive role in immunological host defense mechanisms. Given the functional significance of the temperature rhythm, research should focus on the feasibility and effectiveness of methods that can in principle be applied in order to enhance the weakened circadian temperature rhythm in the elderly.

PMID: 12208240 [PubMed - in process] 


Carbohydrates and Core Body Temperature

Alteration of internal circadian phase relationships after morning versus evening carbohydrate-rich meals in humans.

J Biol Rhythms 2002 Aug;17(4):364-76
Krauchi K, Cajochen C, Werth E, Wirz-Justice A.
Centre for Chronobiology, Psychiatric University Clinic, Basel, Switzerland.

The effects of a single morning and evening carbohydrate-rich meal for 3 consecutive days on circadian phase of core body temperature (CBT), heart rate, and salivary melatonin rhythms were compared under controlled constant routine conditions. In 10 healthy young men entrained to a natural light-dark cycle with regular sleep timing, CBT and heart rate were significantly elevated for approximately 8 h after the last evening carbohydrate-rich meal (EM), and nocturnal melatonin secretion (as measured by salivary melatonin and urinary 6-sulphatoxymelatonin levels) was reduced, compared to the morning carbohydrate-rich meal (MM) condition. Thus, circadian phase could not be measured until the following day due to this acute masking effect. The day after the last meal intervention, MM showed a significant advanced circadian phase position in CBT (+59+/-12 min) and heart rate (+43+/-18 min) compared to EM. However, dim-light melatonin onset was not significantly changed (+15+/-13 min). The results are discussed with respect to central (light-entrainable) and peripheral (food-entrainable) oscillators. Food may be a zeitgeber in humans for the food-entrainable peripheral oscillators, but melatonin data do not support such a conclusion for the light-entrainable oscillator in the suprachiasmatic nucleus.

PMID: 12164252 [PubMed - in process] 


Electrodermal activity during total sleep deprivation and its relationship with other activation and performance measures.

Miro E, Cano-Lozano MC, Buela-Casal G.

Department of Personality, Assessment and Psychological Treatment, Sleep Study Unit, School of Psychology, University of Granada, Granada, Spain.

The present study analyses the variations of the skin resistance level (SRL) during 48 h of total sleep deprivation (TSD) and its relationship to body temperature, self-informed sleepiness in the Stanford Sleepiness Scale (SSS), and reaction time (RT). All of the variables were evaluated every 2 h except for the SSS, which was evaluated every hour. A total of 30 healthy subjects (15 men and 15 women) from 18 to 24 years old participated in the experiment. Analyses of variance (ANOVAs) with TSD days and time-of-day as factors showed a substantial increase of SRL, SSS, and RT, and a decrease in body temperature marked by strong circadian oscillations. The interaction between day by time-of-day was only significant for RT. Furthermore, Pearson's correlations showed that the increase of SRL is associated to the decrease in temperature (mean r=-0.511), the increase of SSS (mean r=0.509), and the deterioration of RT (mean r=0.425). The results support previous TSD reports and demonstrate the sensitivity of SRL to TSD. The non-invasive character of SRL, its simplicity, and its relationships with other activation parameters, widely validated by previous literature, convert SRL into an interesting and useful measure in this field.

PMID: 12028475 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] 


Progesterone raises body temperature

J Appl Physiol 2002 Apr;92(4):1684-91 Related Articles, Links 
Baker FC, Driver HS, Paiker J, Rogers GG, Mitchell D.
Wits Sleep Laboratory, Brain Function Research Unit, School of Physiology, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg 2193, South Africa.

Acetaminophen does not affect 24-h body temperature or sleep in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.

Body temperature and sleep change in association with increased progesterone in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle in young women. The mechanism by which progesterone raises body temperature is not known but may involve prostaglandins, inducing a thermoregulatory adjustment similar to that of fever. Prostaglandins also are involved in sleep regulation and potentially could mediate changes in sleep during the menstrual cycle. We investigated the possible role of central prostaglandins in mediating menstrual-associated 24-h temperature and sleep changes by inhibiting prostaglandin synthesis with a therapeutic dose of the centrally acting cyclooxygenase inhibitor acetaminophen in the luteal and follicular phases of the menstrual cycle in young women. Body temperature was raised, and nocturnal amplitude was blunted, in the luteal phase compared with the follicular phase. Acetaminophen had no effect on the body temperature profile in either menstrual cycle phase. Prostaglandins, therefore, are unlikely to mediate the upward shift of body temperature in the luteal phase. Sleep changed during the menstrual cycle: on the placebo night in the luteal phase the women had less rapid eye movement sleep and more slow-wave sleep than in the follicular phase. Acetaminophen did not alter sleep architecture or subjective sleep quality. Prostaglandin inhibition with acetaminophen, therefore, had no effect on the increase in body temperature or on sleep in the midluteal phase of the menstrual cycle in young women, making it unlikely that central prostaglandin synthesis underlies these luteal events.

Publication Types: 
Clinical Trial 
Controlled Clinical Trial 

PMID: 11896038 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] 



Oral contraceptives alter sleep and raise body temperature in young women.

Pflugers Arch 2001 Aug;442(5):729-37 

Baker FC, Mitchell D, Driver HS.

Department of Physiology, University of the Witwatersrand Medical School, 7 York Road, Parktown, 2193, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Female reproductive steroids, oestrogen and progesterone, not only affect reproductive function, but also thermoregulation and sleep. Chronic administration of synthetic steroids, as occurs in women taking oral contraceptives, may affect these regulatory systems differently from endogenous (Natural) oestrogen and progesterone. We therefore investigated body temperature and sleep in ten young women taking oral contraceptives, in the active and placebo phases of the contraceptive pack, and compared them to a group of nine women with ovulatory cycles, in the mid-follicular and mid-luteal phases. 

Body temperature was raised throughout 24 h in the women taking oral contraceptives in the active phase, and in the naturally cycling women in the luteal phase, compared to the follicular phase. The women taking oral contraceptives in the placebo phase, however, continued to have raised body temperatures, similar to those in the active phase, indicating a prolonged action of synthetic reproductive steroids on body temperature. Sleep also was influenced by the endogenous and synthetic reproductive steroids, but independently of body temperature. The women taking oral contraceptives had more stage-2 non-rapid eye movement sleep in the active phase, both compared to their placebo phase and the naturally cycling women. The naturally cycling women, however, had more slow wave sleep in the luteal phase compared to the contraceptive group of women.

Exogenous (synthetic, external) reproductive steroids therefore influence body temperature and sleep differently from endogenous (natural) progesterone and oestrogen.

PMID: 11512029 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] 



Effects of short nap and exercise on elderly people having difficulty in sleeping.

Tanaka H, Taira K, Arakawa M, Toguti H, Urasaki C, Yamamoto Y, Uezu E, Hori T, Shirakawa S.

Department of Psychogeriatrics, National Institute of Mental Health, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Ichikawashi, Chiba, Japan.

The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of short nap and exercise on the sleep quality of elderly people who reported difficulty in sleeping. 'Interventions' such as short nap after lunch and moderate-intensity exercise in the evening were carried out for 4 weeks. After the 'interventions', wake time after sleep onset significantly decreased and sleep efficiency significantly increased, which showed that sleep quality was improved. The frequency of nodding in the evening significantly decreased. These results demonstrated that the proper awakening maintenance (i.e. exercise) in the evening was effective in improving sleep quality. After the 'intervention', mental health was also improved with improving sleep quality.

Publication Types: 
Clinical Trial 

PMID: 11422829 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


The effect of alcohol consumption on the circadian control of human core body temperature is time dependent.

Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 2001 Jul;281(1):R52-5 Related Articles, Links 
Danel T, Libersa C, Touitou Y.
Clinique de la Charite, Centre Hospitalier Regional Universitaire, 59037 Lille Cedex, France.

The few controlled studies dealing with the action of alcohol on core body temperature in humans have focused on the effect of a single dose of ethanol and reported that it has a hypothermic effect. No studies report the effects of repeated ethanol intake over a 24-h period, a pattern of consumption much closer to the clinical condition of chronic alcoholism. We therefore designed a trial in which alcohol was repeatedly and regularly administered, with a total dose of 256 g. Nine healthy male volunteers (mean age 23.3 +/- 2.9 yr; range 21-30) each served as his own control. The circadian temperature rhythm was studied by a single-blind, randomized, crossover study that compared a 26-h alcohol session to a 26-h placebo session. The trial controlled for so-called masking effects known to affect temperature. The volunteers were in bed; the ambient temperature was maintained between 20 and 22 degrees C. Meals were standardized. And light was controlled during the night. All sessions took place between November and April. The two sessions were separated by 2 to 5 wk. Rectal temperature was monitored every 20 min throughout the trial. We found the standard hypothermic effect of alcohol in the early hours of the trial, during the daytime, but our principal result is that alcohol consumption induced a very significant hyperthermic effect (+0.36 degrees C) during the night and thereby reduced the circadian amplitude of core body temperature by 43%. The dramatic decrease of the amplitude of circadian temperature rhythm that we observed may explain, at least in part, some clinical signs observed in alcoholic patients, including sleep and mood disorders. We suggest that jet lag, shift work, and aging, which are known to alter body temperature, are aggravated by alcohol consumption.

Publication Types: 
Clinical Trial 
Randomized Controlled Trial 

PMID: 11404278 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]



The effects of skin pressure by clothing on circadian rhythms of core temperature and salivary melatonin.

Lee YA, Hyun KJ, Tokura H.
Chronobiol Int 2000 Nov;17(6):783-93 Related Articles, Links 
Department of Environmental Health, Nara Women's University, Japan.

The present experiment investigated the effects of skin pressure by foundation garments (girdle and brassiere) on the circadian rhythms of core temperature and salivary melatonin. Ten healthy females (18-23 years) maintained regular sleep-wake cycles for a week prior to participation in the experiment. The experiments were performed from June to August 1999 using a bioclimatic chamber controlled at 26.5 degrees C +/- 0.2 degrees C and 62% +/- 3% RH. Ambient light intensity was controlled at 500 lux from 07:30 to 17:30, 100 lux from 17:30 to 19:30, 20 lux from 19:30 to 23:30; there was total darkness from 23:30 to 07:30. The experiment lasted for 58h over three nights. The participants arose at 07:30 on the first full day and retired at 23:30, adhering to a set schedule for 24h, but without wearing foundation garments. For the final 24h of the second full day, the subjects wore foundation garments. Rectal and leg skin temperatures were measured continuously throughout the experiment. Saliva and urine were collected every 4h for the analysis of melatonin and catecholamines, respectively. Skin pressure applied by the foundation garments was in the range 11-17 gf/cm2 at the regions of the abdomen, hip, chest, and back. The main results were as follows: (1) Rectal temperatures were significantly higher throughout the day and night when wearing foundation garments. (2) The nocturnal level of salivary melatonin measured at 03:30 was 115.2 +/- 40.4 pg/mL (mean +/- SEM, N = 10) without and 51.3 +/- 18.4 pg/mL (mean +/- SEM, N = 10) with foundation garments. (3) Mean urinary noradrenaline excretion was significantly lower throughout the day and night when wearing foundation garments (p < .05), but mean urinary adrenaline excretion was not different. The results suggest that skin pressure by clothing could markedly suppress the nocturnal elevation of salivary melatonin, resulting in an increase of rectal temperature.

PMID: 11128295 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


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