May 9, 2021

Sleep Loss Impacts the Interconnected Brain-Body-Mood Regulation of Cardiovascular Function in Humans

<p>Poor sleep is associated with hypertension, a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. However, the mechanism(s) through which sleep loss impacts blood pressure remain largely unknown, including the inter-related brain and peripheral body systems that regulate vascular function3. In a repeated-measures experimental study of 66 healthy adult participants, we demonstrate four core findings addressing this question. First, a night of sleep loss significantly increased blood pressure--both systolic and diastolic, yet this change in vascular tone was independent of any increase in heart rate. Second, sleep loss compromised functional brain connectivity within regions that regulate vascular tone. Third, sleep-loss related changes in brain connectivity and vascular tone were significantly inter-dependent, with changes in brain nodes explaining the shift towards hypertension. Fourth, sleep-loss related changes in mood, specifically reductions in positive and amplification in negative states, each demonstrated an interaction with the impairments in brain connectivity and blood pressure. Together, these findings support an embodied framework in which sleep loss confers increased risk of cardiovascular disease through interactions between brain homeostatic control, mood-state and blood pressure.</p>
<p> bioRxiv Subject Collection: Neuroscience</p>
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