The effects of partial sleep restriction and altered sleep timing on olfactory performance
Olfaction can increase the drive to eat and may partially explain the consistent increases in energy intake (EI) following sleep restriction. We investigated the effects of 50% sleep restriction with altered sleep timing on olfactory performance. We also evaluated whether changes (Δ) in olfactory performance were associated with Δ24 h EI. Twelve men and six women (age: 23 ± 4 years; BMI: 23 ± 3 kg/m2) completed three randomized cross-over conditions: habitual sleep duration, 50% sleep restriction with advanced wake-time, and 50% sleep restriction with delayed bedtime. Sleep was measured in-laboratory (polysomnography). Olfactory performance (‘sniffin sticks’) and 24 h EI (food menu) were evaluated the next day. A trend for a significant condition*sex interaction was noted for threshold-discrimination-identification (TDI) scores (P = 0.09); TDI scores were lowest in women and highest in men, following sleep restriction with advanced wake-time. Δolfactory performance were not associated with Δ24 h EI. The impact of sleep restriction on olfactory performance may differ between sexes. Changes in olfactory performance were not associated with changes in 24 h EI. Studies investigating prolonged effects of sleep loss on the relationship between olfactory performance with EI are needed.