Confinement, partial sleep deprivation and defined physical activity–influence on cardiorespiratory regulation and capacity

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Introduction: Adequate cardiorespiratory fitness is of utmost importance during spaceflight and should be assessable via moderate work rate intensities, e.g., using kinetics parameters. The combination of restricted sleep, and defined physical exercise during a 45-day simulated space mission is expected to slow heart rate (HR) kinetics without changes in oxygen uptake (V ˙ O 2) kinetics. Methods: Overall, 14 crew members (9 males, 5 females, 37 ± 7 yrs, 23.4 ± 3.5 kg m−2) simulated a 45-d-mission to an asteroid. During the mission, the sleep schedule included 5 nights of 5 h and 2 nights of 8 h sleep. The crew members were tested on a cycle ergometer, using pseudo-random binary sequences, changing between 30 and 80 W on day 8 before (MD-8), day 22 (MD22) and 42 (MD42) after the beginning and day 4 (MD + 4) following the end of the mission. Kinetics information was assessed using the maxima of cross-correlation functions (CCFmax). Higher CCFmax indicates faster responses. Results: CCFmax(HR) was significantly (p = 0.008) slower at MD-8 (0.30 ± 0.06) compared with MD22 (0.36 ± 0.06), MD42 (0.38 ± 0.06) and MD + 4 (0.35 ± 0.06). Mean HR values during the different work rate steps were higher at MD-8 and MD + 4 compared to MD22 and MD42 (p < 0.001). Discussion: The physical training during the mission accelerated HR kinetics, but had no impact on mean HR values post mission. Thus, HR kinetics seem to be sensitive to changes in cardiorespiratory fitness and may be a valuable parameter to monitor fitness. Kinetics and capacities adapt independently in response to confinement in combination with defined physical activity and sleep.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean journal of applied physiology
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)2521-2530
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 09.2021

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© 2021. The Author(s).

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