Sympathetic activation in adults with inadequate sleep
- Research Opportunity
- PhD students, Honours students
- Baker Department of Cardiometabolic Health
- Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute
Summary This study will assess the effect of inadequate sleep on the neural control of blood pressure to determine the role of sleep in hypertension.
Sleep health is a national concern with almost 40 per cent of Australians suffering from sleep problems. Inadequate sleep at night – that is, not having the recommended duration between seven to nine hours – is associated with increased risk of hypertension and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Accordingly, sleep represents a modifiable target for the reduction of hypertension and CVD. However, despite the link between inadequate sleep and blood pressure, there is a lack of mechanistic evidence to support cause and effect. Sympathetic overactivity is thought to play a role. However, to date, studies on mechanisms regulating sympathetic activity in inadequate sleepers are lacking.
In this novel study we will utilise state-of-the-art fMRI imaging coupled with muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) recordings to investigate how inadequate sleep affects the brain and its regulation of sympathetic activation. This technique allows a window into the functioning brain as it controls beat-by-beat blood pressure rhythms. This project will also employ techniques to measure sleep (brain wave activity, muscle tone, eye movements, heart rate, respiratory rate and oxygen saturation) using home-based polysomnography.
The proposed project will provide the first evidence of whether inadequate sleep negatively impacts the brain and its control of blood pressure. If successful, inadequate sleep will represent a potential target for risk modification to improve cardiovascular health.
This project is suitable for a PhD or Honours student.
School Research Themes
PhD students, Honours students
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research
For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.
Research NodeBaker Heart and Diabetes Institute
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