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Circadian Regulation of Sleep in Habitual Short Sleepers and Long Sleepers

This study has been completed.
Sponsor:
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
NCT00001546
First Posted: December 10, 2002
Last Update Posted: March 4, 2008
The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
Information provided by:
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
  Purpose

Routine sleep duration varies greatly among individuals. The biological meaning of this variation is unknown.

The term circadian rhythm refers to the biological clock that regulates the timing of falling asleep, waking up, and secretion of hormones, like melatonin. Melatonin is secreted at night. Previous studies have shown that melatonin may play a role in the regulation of sleep.

The purpose of this study is to learn whether the duration of nighttime (nocturnal) melatonin secretion is longer in people with long regular sleep duration than people with short sleep duration.

Researchers will compare levels of melatonin and cortisol, body temperature, sleepiness, and sleep in two extreme groups. Group one will be made up of people with short sleep duration lasting less than 6 hours. Group two will be made up of people with long sleep duration lasting more than 9 hours.


Condition
Sleep Disorders

Study Type: Observational
Official Title: Circadian Regulation of Sleep in Habitual Short Sleepers and Long Sleepers

Further study details as provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):

Estimated Enrollment: 38
Study Start Date: May 1996
Estimated Study Completion Date: June 2000
Detailed Description:
Habitual sleep duration varies greatly among individuals. The biological meaning of this variation is unknown. The present project proposes that differences in habitual sleep duration are associated with differences in the output of the endogenous circadian pacemaker, which programs the 'internal biological night'. The protocol hypothesizes that the duration of the internal biological night as defined by the nocturnal intervals of detectable plasma melatonin levels, low body temperature, low EEG activity in the high-frequency alpha band, increasing sleepiness and increasing plasma cortisol levels is longer in habitual long sleepers (sleep duration greater than 9 hours) than in short sleepers (less than 6 hours). Since recent results in healthy subjects suggest that melatonin has some soporific or hypnotic properties, we furthermore hypothesize that the level of nocturnal melatonin secretion is higher in long sleepers than in short sleepers. The circadian rhythms of plasma melatonin, body temperature, waking EEG activity, subjective sleepiness and plasma cortisol will be assessed in a ~40-hour constant routine protocol. In addition, a 36-hour extended bed rest protocol will be carried out in order to study spontaneous sleep duration and sleep structure under ad lib conditions while time cues and social cues are absent. It is hypothesized that as a consequence of differences in the circadian output, long sleepers will sleep more, have a different sleep structure, and spontaneously wake up on a lower level of homeostatic sleep pressure than short sleepers. Finally, we intend to determine whether differences in habitual sleep duration between long and short sleepers are associated with dysthymic and hypomanic characteristics of mood, respectively. We are asking to study a total of 15 long sleepers and 15 short sleepers. Given that we have already studied 9 long sleepers and 9 short sleepers, we anticipate that 72 patient-days per year for one year would be required to complete the study.
  Eligibility

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Senior
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Criteria

Sleep greater than or equal to 9 hours almost every night.

Sleep less than or equal to 6 hours almost every night.

Between ages 20-30.

No medications, history of psychiatric illness, history of head injury.

No sleep disturbances.

  Contacts and Locations
Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT00001546


Locations
United States, Maryland
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892
Sponsors and Collaborators
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
  More Information

Publications:
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00001546     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 960087
96-M-0087
First Submitted: November 3, 1999
First Posted: December 10, 2002
Last Update Posted: March 4, 2008
Last Verified: April 1999

Keywords provided by National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC):
Biochemical Screening
Body Temperature
Consent Form
EEG
EKG
Melatonin
Mood
Physical Examination
Psychiatric Examination
Sleep Duration
Sleep Disorders

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Sleep Wake Disorders
Parasomnias
Nervous System Diseases
Neurologic Manifestations
Signs and Symptoms
Mental Disorders