Sci Rep. 2023 Oct 14;13(1):17477. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-44790-4.
The study aimed to evaluate the effect of sleep deprivation on postural stability among physically active young adults. The study involved 22 physical education students. Average velocities and spatial distribution of the center of pressure displacements were taken as indicators of postural stability (double and one-leg standing). Two-way ANOVA with two factors of repeated measurements-“session” (control-experimental) and “daytime” (evening-morning)-was used. For indicators of the spatial distribution of the center of pressure in double stance with eyes open and eyes closed, and for average velocities for measurements with eyes closed, statistically significant interaction effects were found (at least p < 0.01, ƞ2 > 0.36, power statistics > 0.90) with the general tendency of higher results in the morning in the session with sleep deprivation than in the control session. In one-leg standing, an increase of average velocities was observed in the control session, and no differences in the session with sleep deprivation (interaction effect: at least p < 0.01, ƞ2 > 0.37, power statistics > 0.90). Besides spatial distribution indicators in double stance, there were no statistical differences between evening-morning tests in the session with sleep deprivation. Despite significant interaction effects, only the results of spatial distribution indicators in double stance were higher in the morning than in the evening in the session with sleep deprivation. So, no clear decline in postural stability after sleep deprivation was observed. This may suggest that sleep deprivation prevents natural regeneration rather than significantly worsening postural stability among physically active adults. It’s possible that systematic physical activity might be one of the factors decreasing the risk of accidents among people exposed to sleep deprivation.