Nighttime cardiac sympathetic hyper-activation in young primary insomniacs

M. De Zambotti, Naima Covassin, M. Sarlo, G. De Min Tona, J. Trinder, L. Stegagno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: A growing literature supports the association between insomnia and cardiovascular risk. Since only few studies have provided empirical evidence of hyper-activation of the cardiovascular system in insomniacs, the aim of the present study was to analyze cardiac autonomic responses in primary insomnia. Methods: Impedance cardiography and heart rate variability (HRV) measures were assessed in 9 insomniacs and 9 good sleepers during a night of polysomnographic recording. Results: Insomniacs were found to be characterized by a constant sympathetic hyper-activation which was maintained all night, as suggested by a faster pre-ejection period (PEP) compared to good sleepers. In addition, only insomniacs showed a strong reduction in heart rate in the transition from wake to sleep. Both groups exhibited a reduction in cardiac output and sympathovagal balance, i.e., reductions in low-frequency/high-frequency ratio and increases in high-frequency normalized units of HRV, across the night. In addition, in our sample, a high physiological sympathetic activation (fast PEP) at night was found to be directly associated with low quality of sleep. Conclusions: These preliminary findings suggest that a constant cardiac sympathetic hyper-activation throughout the night is a main feature of primary insomnia. Our evidences support the association between insomnia and increased risk for cardiovascular diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-56
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Autonomic Research
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

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Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders
Heart Rate
Sleep
Impedance Cardiography
Cardiovascular System
Cardiac Output
Cardiovascular Diseases

Keywords

  • Autonomic functioning
  • Cardiovascular activity
  • Heart rate variability
  • Hyper-arousal
  • Insomnia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Nighttime cardiac sympathetic hyper-activation in young primary insomniacs. / De Zambotti, M.; Covassin, Naima; Sarlo, M.; De Min Tona, G.; Trinder, J.; Stegagno, L.

In: Clinical Autonomic Research, Vol. 23, No. 1, 01.02.2013, p. 49-56.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

De Zambotti, M, Covassin, N, Sarlo, M, De Min Tona, G, Trinder, J & Stegagno, L 2013, 'Nighttime cardiac sympathetic hyper-activation in young primary insomniacs', Clinical Autonomic Research, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 49-56. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10286-012-0178-2
De Zambotti, M. ; Covassin, Naima ; Sarlo, M. ; De Min Tona, G. ; Trinder, J. ; Stegagno, L. / Nighttime cardiac sympathetic hyper-activation in young primary insomniacs. In: Clinical Autonomic Research. 2013 ; Vol. 23, No. 1. pp. 49-56.
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