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Eur J Endocrinol. 2010 Sep;163(3):383-90. doi: 10.1530/EJE-10-0297. Epub 2010 Jun 29.

Sleeping during the day: effects on the 24-h patterns of IGF-binding protein 1, insulin, glucose, cortisol, and growth hormone.

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Section for Psychology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden.



Disturbed sleep is a major risk factor for metabolic disturbances, including type 2 diabetes, but the involved mechanisms are still poorly understood. We investigated how an acute shift of sleep to the daytime affected IGF-binding protein 1 (IGFBP1), which is a risk factor for diabetes.


Seven healthy men (age, 22-32 years) participated in a night sleep condition (sleep 2300-0700 h) and a day sleep condition (0700-1500 h) with hourly blood samples taken for 25 h (starting at 1900 h) and isocaloric meals every 4th hour awake. The blood samples were analyzed for IGFBP1, insulin, GH, glucose, and cortisol.


The acute shift of sleep and meal timing (to 8 h) shifted the 24-h patterns of IGFBP1, glucose, insulin, and GH to a similar degree. However, the day sleep condition also resulted in elevated levels of IGFBP1 (area under curve (AUC)+22%, P<0.05), and reduced glucose levels (AUC-7%, P<0.05) compared with nocturnal sleep. Sleeping during the day resulted in elevated cortisol levels during early sleep and reduced levels in late sleep, but also in increased levels the subsequent evening (P's<0.05).


Sleep-fasting seems to be the primary cause for the elevation of IGFBP1, irrespective of sleep timing. However, sleeping during the day resulted in higher levels of IGFBP1 than nocturnal sleep, suggesting altered metabolism among healthy individuals, which may have implications for other groups with altered sleep/eating habits such as shift workers. Moreover, sleep and meal times should be accounted for while interpreting IGFBP1 samples.

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