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Physiol Behav. 2010 Dec 2;101(5):693-8. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2010.08.006. Epub 2010 Aug 17.

Effects of sleep restriction on adiponectin levels in healthy men and women.

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Department of Neurology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School, 330 Brookline Ave/DA-779, Boston, MA 02215, United States.



Population studies have consistently found that shorter sleep durations are associated with obesity and cardiovascular disease, particularly among women. Adiponectin is an adipocyte-derived, anti-inflammatory hormone that is related to cardiovascular disease risk. We hypothesized that sleep restriction would reduce adiponectin levels in healthy young adults.


74 healthy adults (57% men, 63% African American, mean age 29.9years) completed 2 nights of baseline sleep at 10h time in bed (TIB) per night followed by 5 nights of sleep restricted to 4h TIB per night. An additional 8 participants were randomized to a control group that received 10h TIB per night throughout the study. Plasma adiponectin levels were measured following the second night of baseline sleep and the fifth night of sleep restriction or control sleep.


Sleep restriction resulted in a decrease in plasma adiponectin levels among Caucasian women (Z=-2.19, p=0.028), but an increase among African American women (Z=-2.73, p=0.006). No significant effects of sleep restriction on adiponectin levels were found among men. A 2×2 between-group analysis of covariance on adiponectin change scores controlling for BMI confirmed significant interactions between sleep restriction and race/ethnicity [F(1,66)=13.73, p<0.001], as well as among sleep restriction, race/ethnicity and sex [F(1,66)=4.27, p=0.043)].


Inflammatory responses to sleep loss appear to be moderated by sex and race/ethnicity; observed decreases in adiponectin following sleep restriction may be one avenue by which reduced sleep duration promotes cardiovascular risk in Caucasian women.

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