Evening high-intensity interval exercise does not disrupt sleep or alter energy intake despite changes in acylated ghrelin in middle-aged men

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Experimental Physiology, 2019, 104 (6), pp. 826 - 836
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© 2019 The Authors. Experimental Physiology © 2019 The Physiological Society New Findings: What is the central question of this study? What are the interactions between sleep and appetite following early evening high-intensity interval exercise (HIIE)? What is the main finding and its importance? HIIE can be performed in the early evening without subsequent sleep disruptions and may favourably alter appetite-related hormone concentrations. Nonetheless, perceived appetite and energy intake do not change with acute HIIE regardless of time of day. Abstract: Despite exercise benefits for sleep and appetite, due to increased time restraints, many adults remain inactive. Methods to improve exercise compliance include preferential time-of-day or engaging in short-duration, high-intensity interval exercise (HIIE). Hence, this study aimed to compare effects of HIIE time-of-day on sleep and appetite. Eleven inactive men undertook sleep monitoring to determine baseline (BASE) sleep stages and exclude sleep disorders. On separate days, participants completed 30 min HIIE (60 s work at 100% (Formula presented.), 240 s rest at 50% (Formula presented.)) in (1) the morning (MORN; 06.00–07.00 h), (2) the afternoon (AFT; 14.00–16.00 h) and (3) the early evening (EVEN: 19.00–20.00 h). Measures included appetite-related hormones (acylated ghrelin, leptin, peptide tyrosine tyrosine) and glucose pre-exercise, 30 min post-exercise and the next morning; overnight polysomnography (PSG; sleep stages); and actigraphy, self-reported sleep and food diaries for 48 h post-exercise. There were no between-trial differences for total sleep time (P = 0.46). Greater stage N3 sleep was recorded for MORN (23 ± 7%) compared to BASE (18 ± 7%; P = 0.02); however, no between-trial differences existed (P > 0.05). Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep was lower and non-REM sleep was higher for EVEN compared to BASE (P ≤ 0.05). At 30 min post-exercise, ghrelin was higher for AFT compared to MORN and EVEN (P = 0.01), while glucose was higher for MORN compared to AFT and EVEN (P ≤ 0.02). No between-trial differences were observed for perceived appetite (P ≥ 0.21) or energy intake (P = 0.57). Early evening HIIE can be performed without subsequent sleep disruptions and reduces acylated ghrelin. However, perceived appetite and energy intake appear to be unaffected by HIIE time of day.
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