Excess diuresis and natriuresis during acute sleep deprivation in healthy adults

Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2010 Aug;299(2):F404-11. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00126.2010. Epub 2010 Jun 2.


The transition from wakefulness to sleep is associated with a pronounced decline in diuresis, a necessary physiological process that allows uninterrupted sleep. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of acute sleep deprivation (SD) on urine output and renal water, sodium, and solute handling in healthy young volunteers. Twenty young adults (10 male) were recruited for two 24-h studies under standardized dietary conditions. During one of the two admissions, subjects were deprived of sleep. Urine output, electrolyte excretions, and osmolar excretions were calculated. Activated renin, angiotensin II, aldosterone, arginine vasopressin, and atrial natriuretic peptide were measured in plasma, whereas prostaglandin E(2) and melatonin were measured in urine. SD markedly increased the diuresis and led to excess renal sodium excretion. The effect was more pronounced in men who shared significantly higher diuresis levels during SD compared with women. Renal water handling and arginine vasopressin levels remained unaltered during SD, but the circadian rhythm of the hormones of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system was significantly affected. Urinary melatonin and prostaglandin E(2) excretion levels were comparable between SD and baseline night. Hemodynamic changes were characterized by the attenuation of nocturnal blood pressure dipping and an increase in creatinine clearance. Acute deprivation of sleep induces natriuresis and osmotic diuresis, leading to excess nocturnal urine production, especially in men. Hemodynamic changes during SD may, through renal and hormonal processes, be responsible for these observations. Sleep architecture disturbances should be considered in clinical settings with nocturnal polyuria such as enuresis in children and nocturia in adults.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aldosterone / blood
  • Angiotensin II / blood
  • Arginine Vasopressin / blood
  • Atrial Natriuretic Factor / blood
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Blood Pressure
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Dinoprostone / urine
  • Diuresis*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melatonin / urine
  • Natriuresis*
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Renin / blood
  • Renin-Angiotensin System
  • Sex Factors
  • Sleep Deprivation / blood
  • Sleep Deprivation / complications
  • Sleep Deprivation / physiopathology*
  • Sleep Deprivation / urine
  • Sodium / blood
  • Urination Disorders / blood
  • Urination Disorders / etiology*
  • Urination Disorders / physiopathology
  • Urination Disorders / urine
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • Angiotensin II
  • Arginine Vasopressin
  • Aldosterone
  • Atrial Natriuretic Factor
  • Sodium
  • Creatinine
  • Renin
  • Melatonin
  • Dinoprostone