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Sleep. 1995 Sep;18(7):549-56.

Comparative effect of night and daytime sleep on the 24-hour cortisol secretory profile.

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Laboratoire de Physiologie et de Psychologie Environnementales, CNRS, Strasbourg, France.


To determine whether cortisol secretion interacts with daytime sleep in a similar manner to that reported for night sleep, 14 healthy young men were studied during two 24-hour cycles. During one cycle they slept during the night, during the other the sleep period was delayed by 8 hours. Secretory rates were calculated by a deconvolution procedure from plasma cortisol, measured at 10-minute intervals. The amount of cortisol secreted during night sleep was lower than during the corresponding period of sleep deprivation (12.7 +/- 1.1 vs. 16.3 +/- 1.6 mg; p < 0.05), but daytime sleep beginning at the habitual time of morning awakening failed to inhibit cortisol secretion significantly. There was no difference between the amount of cortisol secreted from 0700 to 1500 hours in sleeping subjects and in subjects who were awake during the same period of time (24.2 +/- 1.5 vs. 22.5 +/- 1.4 mg). Even if the comparison between sleeping and waking subjects was restricted to the period 0700-1100 hours or 0700-0900 hours, no significant difference was found. Neither secretory pulse amplitude nor frequency differed significantly in either period. However, detailed analysis of the secretory rates in day sleepers demonstrated a transient decrease in cortisol secretion at about the time of sleep onset, which began 10 minutes before and lasted 20 minutes after falling asleep. Spontaneous or provoked awakenings had a determining influence on the secretory profiles. Ten to 20 minutes after awakening from either night or day sleep cortisol secretion increased significantly.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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