Out like a light? the effects of a diurnal husbandry schedule on mouse sleep and behavior

Amy L. Robinson-Junker, Bruce F. O'Hara, Brianna N. Gaskill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Sleep disruption in humans, caused by shift work, can be detrimental to physical and behavioral health. Nocturnal laboratory mice may experience a similar disruption caused by human daytime activities, but whether this disruption affects their welfare is unknown. We used 48 mice (CD1, C57BL/6, and BALB/c of both sexes) in a factorial design to test a sleep disruption treatment, in which mice were disturbed by providing routine husbandry at either 1000 or 2200 during a 12:12-h light:dark cycle, with lights on at 0700. All mice were exposed for 1 wk to each disruption treatment, and we used a noninvasive sleep monitoring apparatus to monitor and record sleep. To determine whether providing nesting material ameliorated effects of sleep disruption, we tested 4 amounts of nesting material (3, 6, 9, or 12 g) and continuously recorded sleep in the home cage for 2 wk. C57BL/6 mice, regardless of sex or disruption timing, slept the least overall. There was a strong interaction of sex and type of mouse on sleep across 24 h. Mice slept less during the first day of the daytime disturbance than on day 6. These results suggest that disturbance timing affects sleep patterns in mice but not their overall amount of sleep and that the changes in sleep patterns vary between mouse type and sex. In addition, mice appear to both anticipate and acclimate to human activity during the day. Our welfare checks were possibly too predictable and inconsequential to induce true sleep disruption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-133
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2018 by the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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