Chronobiology International vol:28 issue:3 pages:282-284
This study investigates the effect of mild physical activity before bedtime on the sleep pattern and heart rate during the night. Nine healthy subjects underwent a habituation night, a reference night, and a physical induction night. The physical induction night did not alter the sleep pattern. Physical activity before bedtime resulted in higher heart rate variance during slow-wave sleep. The low-frequency/high-frequency component (LF/HF) ratio during slow-wave sleep in the physical induction night was significantly higher than during the reference night. Increased mean heart rate and higher LF/HF ratio are related to decreased parasympathetic dominance. Exercise up to 1 h before bedtime thus seems to modify the quality of sleep. (Author correspondence: Daniel.Berckmans@biw.kuleuven.be ).