Publication Date

4-7-2020

Document Type

Article

Department

Psychology

Publication Title

Frontiers in Physiology

Volume

11

DOI

10.3389/fphys.2020.00254

Abstract

Sleep inertia, the transitional state of reduced alertness and impaired cognitive performance upon waking, is a safety risk for on-call personnel who can be required to perform critical tasks soon after waking. Sleep inertia countermeasures have previously been investigated; however, none have successfully dissipated sleep inertia within the first 15 min following waking. During this time, on-call personnel could already be driving, providing advice, or performing other safety-critical tasks. Exercise has not yet been investigated as a sleep inertia countermeasure but has the potential to stimulate the key physiological mechanisms that occur upon waking, including changes in cerebral blood flow, the cortisol awakening response, and increases in core body temperature. Here, we examine these physiological processes and hypothesize how exercise can stimulate them, positioning exercise as an effective sleep inertia countermeasure. We then propose key considerations for research investigating the efficacy of exercise as a sleep inertia countermeasure, including the need to determine the intensity and duration of exercise required to reduce sleep inertia, as well as testing the effectiveness of exercise across a range of conditions in which the severity of sleep inertia may vary. Finally, practical considerations are identified, including the recommendation that qualitative field-based research be conducted with on-call personnel to determine the potential constraints in utilizing exercise as a sleep inertia countermeasure in real-world scenarios.

Funding Sponsor

Central Queensland University

Keywords

cerebral blood flow, cortisol awakening response, exercise, functional connectivity, sleep inertia, thermoregulation, waking

Comments

This is the Version of Record and can also be read online here.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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