Evening high-intensity interval exercise does not disrupt sleep or alter energy intake despite changes in acylated ghrelin in middle-aged men

Penelope Larsen, Frank Marino, Kerri Melehan, Kym J. Guelfi, Rob Duffield, Melissa Skein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


New Findings: What is the central question of this study? What are the interactions between sleep and appetite following early evening high-intensity interval exercise (HIIE)? What is the main finding and its importance? HIIE can be performed in the early evening without subsequent sleep disruptions and may favourably alter appetite-related hormone concentrations. Nonetheless, perceived appetite and energy intake do not change with acute HIIE regardless of time of day. Abstract: Despite exercise benefits for sleep and appetite, due to increased time restraints, many adults remain inactive. Methods to improve exercise compliance include preferential time-of-day or engaging in short-duration, high-intensity interval exercise (HIIE). Hence, this study aimed to compare effects of HIIE time-of-day on sleep and appetite. Eleven inactive men undertook sleep monitoring to determine baseline (BASE) sleep stages and exclude sleep disorders. On separate days, participants completed 30 min HIIE (60 s work at 100% (Formula presented.), 240 s rest at 50% (Formula presented.)) in (1) the morning (MORN; 06.00–07.00 h), (2) the afternoon (AFT; 14.00–16.00 h) and (3) the early evening (EVEN: 19.00–20.00 h). Measures included appetite-related hormones (acylated ghrelin, leptin, peptide tyrosine tyrosine) and glucose pre-exercise, 30 min post-exercise and the next morning; overnight polysomnography (PSG; sleep stages); and actigraphy, self-reported sleep and food diaries for 48 h post-exercise. There were no between-trial differences for total sleep time (P = 0.46). Greater stage N3 sleep was recorded for MORN (23 ± 7%) compared to BASE (18 ± 7%; P = 0.02); however, no between-trial differences existed (P > 0.05). Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep was lower and non-REM sleep was higher for EVEN compared to BASE (P ≤ 0.05). At 30 min post-exercise, ghrelin was higher for AFT compared to MORN and EVEN (P = 0.01), while glucose was higher for MORN compared to AFT and EVEN (P ≤ 0.02). No between-trial differences were observed for perceived appetite (P ≥ 0.21) or energy intake (P = 0.57). Early evening HIIE can be performed without subsequent sleep disruptions and reduces acylated ghrelin. However, perceived appetite and energy intake appear to be unaffected by HIIE time of day.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)826-836
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental Physiology
Issue number6
Early online date23 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 2019

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