Sleep Quality and Physical Activity Predict Inflammation in a Human Model of Low Dose Endotoxin Challenge

Open Access
Weiner, Elizabeth Marie
Area of Honors:
Interdisciplinary in Kinesiology and Nutrition
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Penny Kris Etherton, Thesis Supervisor
  • Jinger Gottschall, Honors Advisor
  • Rebecca L Corwin, Honors Advisor
  • inflammation
  • hs-CRP
  • IPAQ
  • PSQI
  • sleep
  • sleep quality
  • physical activity
Physical activity level and poor sleep quality are associated with inflammation, chronic disease and acute fatality. However, the links between lifestyle factors and the development of inflammation are not completely understood. We examined whether levels of physical activity and sleep quality were predictive of acute inflammatory responses (peak CRP) in a human model of induced inflammation (IV 0.6 ng/kg endotoxin challenge). Volunteers were healthy adults (n = 18, ages 20-44 yrs, BMI 20-30 kg/m2) who participated in a fish oil supplementation study. During the visit, subjects completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), a visual analog scale of subjective sleep quality, and the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). Regression analyses identified subjective sleep quality during the past week as the best predictor of peak (24 h) CRP response (R2=60%, p=0.001). Subjective sleep quality in the past week and in the past month were best fit to a quadratic model, indicating a non-linear relationship between sleep quality and inflammatory response. The best predictor of peak CRP response via the IPAQ included three parameters: days of walking, days of moderate physical activity, and days of vigorous physical activity (R2=51.2%, p=0.016). Several sleep quality and physical activity parameters only became significant predictors of peak CRP responses when combined, supporting the suspected interplay between lifestyle behaviors in predicting inflammatory response. Additionally, our finding that moderate sleep quality predicts a smaller inflammatory response has important implications for understanding the role of lifestyle factors in the development of inflammatory diseases.