Document Type


Publication Date



SAGE Publications

Source Publication

Journal of Biological Rhythms

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Obstructive sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that increases risk for cardiovascular disease and mortality. The severity of sleep-disordered breathing in obstructive sleep apnea patients fluctuates with the seasons, opening the possibility that seasonal changes in light duration, or photoperiod, can influence mechanisms of breathing. Photoperiod can have profound effects on internal timekeeping and can reshape metabolic rhythms in mammals. While the daily rhythm in ventilation is largely shaped by the metabolic rate, less is known about whether ventilatory rhythms are altered in accordance with metabolism under different photoperiods. Here, we investigate the relationship between ventilation and metabolism under different photoperiods using whole-body plethysmography and indirect calorimetry. We find that the daily timing of ventilation is chiefly synchronized to dark onset and that light cues are important for maintaining daily ventilatory rhythms. Moreover, changes in ventilatory patterns are not paralleled by changes in oxygen consumption, energy expenditure, or respiratory exchange rate under different photoperiods. We conclude that ventilatory patterns are not only shaped by the metabolic rate and circadian timing but are also influenced by other light-driven factors. Collectively, these findings have clinical implications for the seasonal variations in sleep-disordered breathing found in individuals with obstructive sleep apnea.


Accepted version. Journal of Biological Rhythms, Vol. 36, No. 4 (August 1, 2021): 346-358. DOI. © 2021 SAGE Publications. Used with permission.

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