Homeostasis is known to be involved in maintaining the optimal internal environment, helping to achieve the best performance of biological functions. At the same time, a deviation from optimal conditions often attenuates the performance of biological functions, and such restricted performance could be considered as individual fatigue, including physical and mental fatigue. The present study seeks to develop an animal model of chronic or subacute fatigue in which the recovery time is extended through the gradual disruption of homeostasis. We show that repeated short-term rest periods with certain lengths of sleep during continuous fatigue loading extend recovery from spontaneous nighttime activity but not physical performance in comparison with a continuous fatigue-loading procedure. Furthermore, the immobility time in a forced swimming test was extended by repeated short-term rests. These results suggest that repeated short-term rest with certain lengths of sleep during continuous fatigue loading is able to extend the recovery from mental fatigue but not from physical fatigue and that this effect might occur via the disruption of a homeostatic mechanism that is involved in restoring the optimal internal environment. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Repeated short-term rest with certain lengths of sleep during continuous fatigue loading was necessary for delaying the recovery from mental, but not physical, fatigue, and this effect might occur via the disruption of homeostatic mechanisms involved in restoring the optimal internal environment.