Fifty-three hours of total sleep deprivation has no effect on rewarming from cold air exposure

Tiffany A. Esmat, Katherine E. Clark, Matthew D. Muller, Judith A. Juvancic-Heltzel, Ellen L. Glickman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: Sleep deprivation and cold air exposure are both experienced in occupational and military settings but the combined effects of these 2 stressors is unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of 53 hours of total sleep deprivation on thermoregulation during the rewarming phase (25°C air) after acute cold air exposure (10°C air). Methods: Eight young men underwent 2 trials in which they either received 7 hours of sleep at night or were totally sleep deprived. On 3 consecutive mornings, the subjects underwent 2 hours of cold air exposure followed by 2 hours of rewarming. Rectal temperature, mean skin temperature, oxygen consumption, and thermal sensation were measured. Results: Rewarming from acute cold air exposure caused a decline in rectal temperature (∼0.5°C) each day but this was not different between subjects who were totally sleep deprived and subjects who received 7 hours of sleep at night. During this same period, mean skin temperature increased (from ∼22°C to 27°C), oxygen consumption decreased (from ∼7 to 4 mL·kg-1·min-1), and the participants felt warmer. Conclusions: Under the conditions of the present study, sleep-deprived persons are not at a greater risk for a decline in rectal temperature (ie, a hypothermic afterdrop) during rewarming from cold air.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-355
Number of pages7
JournalWilderness and Environmental Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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