Sleep homeostasis during daytime food entrainment in mice.

RC Northeast, Y Huang, LE McKillop, DA Bechtold, SN Peirson, HD Piggins, VV Vyazovskiy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Twenty-four hour rhythms of physiology and behavior are driven by the environment and an internal endogenous timing system. Daily restricted feeding (RF) in nocturnal rodents during their inactive phase initiates food anticipatory activity (FAA) and a reorganization of the typical 24-hour sleep–wake structure. Here, we investigate the effects of daytime feeding, where food access was restricted to 4 hours during the light period ZT4-8 (Zeitgeber time; ZT0 is lights on), on sleep–wake architecture and sleep homeostasis in mice. Following 10 days of RF, mice were returned to ad libitum feeding. To mimic the spontaneous wakefulness associated with FAA and daytime feeding, mice were then sleep deprived between ZT3-6. Although the amount of wake increased during FAA and subsequent feeding, total wake time over 24 hours remained stable as the loss of sleep in the light phase was compensated for by an increase in sleep in the dark phase. Interestingly, sleep that followed spontaneous wake episodes during the dark period and the extended period of wake associated with FAA, exhibited lower levels of slow-wave activity (SWA) when compared to baseline or after sleep deprivation, despite a similar duration of waking. This suggests an evolutionary mechanism of reducing sleep drive during negative energy balance to enable greater arousal for food-seeking behaviors. However, the total amount of sleep and SWA accumulated during the 24 hours was similar between baseline and RF. In summary, our study suggests that despite substantial changes in the daily distribution and quality of wake induced by RF, sleep homeostasis is maintained.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2019


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