Effect of 60 days of head down tilt bed rest on amplitude and phase of rhythms in physiology and sleep in men

María-Ángeles Bonmatí-Carrión*, Nayantara Santhi, Giuseppe Atzori, Jeewaka Mendis, Sylwia Kaduk, Derk-Jan Dijk, Simon N. Archer*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Twenty-four-hour rhythms in physiology and behaviour are shaped by circadian clocks, environmental rhythms, and feedback of behavioural rhythms onto physiology. In space, 24 h signals such as those associated with the light-dark cycle and changes in posture, are weaker, potentially reducing the robustness of rhythms. Head down tilt (HDT) bed rest is commonly used to simulate effects of microgravity but how HDT affects rhythms in physiology has not been extensively investigated. Here we report effects of −6° HDT during a 90-day protocol on 24 h rhythmicity in 20 men. During HDT, amplitude of light, motor activity, and wrist-temperature rhythms were reduced, evening melatonin was elevated, while cortisol was not affected during HDT, but was higher in the morning during recovery when compared to last session of HDT. During recovery from HDT, time in Slow-Wave Sleep increased. EEG activity in alpha and beta frequencies increased during NREM and REM sleep. These results highlight the profound effects of head-down-tilt-bed-rest on 24 h rhythmicity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number42
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Journalnpj Microgravity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2024

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