Sleep plays an important role in energy homeostasis. The present study tests the hypothesis that circulating levels of leptin, a hormone that signals energy balance to the brain, are influenced by sleep duration. We also analyzed associations between leptin and sympathovagal balance, cortisol, TSH, glucose, and insulin under different bedtime conditions. Twenty-four-hour hormonal and glucose profiles were sampled at frequent intervals, and sympathovagal balance was estimated from heart rate variability in 11 subjects studied after 6 d of 4-h bedtimes (mean +/- sem of sleep duration during last 2 d: 3 h and 49 +/- 2 min) and after 6 d of 12-h bedtimes (sleep: 9 h and 03 +/- 15 min). A study with 8-h bedtimes was performed 1 yr later (sleep: 6 h and 52 +/- 10 min). Caloric intake and activity levels were carefully controlled in all studies. Mean levels, maximal levels, and rhythm amplitude of leptin were decreased (-19%, -26%, and -20%, respectively) during sleep restriction compared with sleep extension. The decrease in leptin levels was concomitant with an elevation of sympathovagal balance. The effects of sleep duration on leptin were quantitatively associated with alterations of the cortisol and TSH profiles and were accompanied by an elevation of postbreakfast homeostasis model assessment values. Measures of perceived stress were not increased during sleep restriction. During the study with 8-h bedtimes, hormonal and metabolic parameters were intermediate between those observed with 4-h and 12-h bedtimes. In conclusion, sleep modulates a major component of the neuroendocrine control of appetite.