WP6: Thermoreguation & Sleep Disorders

The WP6 (leader: Dr. Mekjavic) will assess autonomic thermoregulatory function during exercise and recovery before and after all conditions. The protocol will detect core temperature thresholds for shivering and sweating, and will reveal whether there is any added risk of hypo- or hyperthermia in high heat loss or high heat gain environments, respectively. Behavioural temperature regulation will be assessed using a water perfused suit which can demonstrate whether hypoxic bedrest is detrimental to one’s ability to maintain thermal balance. Disruptions in sleep patterns may be due to reduced blood perfusion of the lower extremities, which may be exacerbated due to the vasoconstrictive effect of hypoxia.


1: Assess the effect of hypoxic bedrest on autonomic and behavioural thermoregulatory function during rest, and exercise

2: Evaluate the theory relating sleep quality to thermal afferent information from peripheral regions. In particular, determine the contribution of hypoxia- and bedrest-induced peripheral vasoconstriction, and consequently cooling of the lower limbs, to sleep disturbance.

3: Evaluate alterations in sleep physiology in hypoxic bedrest scenarios.

Image: blood vessels of the brain delivering blood to cerebral tissues.