Effects of sleep deprivation on serum cortisol level and mental health in servicemen

Int J Psychophysiol. 2015 Jun;96(3):169-75. doi: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2015.04.008. Epub 2015 Apr 23.


This study aimed to investigate the effects of sleep deprivation on serum cortisol level and mental health and explore the correlations between them in servicemen. A total of 149 out of the 207 Chinese servicemen were randomly selected to go through 24hour sleep deprivation, leaving the rest (58) as the control group, before and after which their blood samples were drawn for cortisol measurement. Following the procedure, all the participants were administered the Military Personnel Mental Disorder Prediction Scale, taking the military norm as baseline. The results revealed that the post-deprivation serum cortisol level was positively correlated with the factor score of mania in the sleep deprivation group (rSp=0.415, p<0.001). Sleep deprivation could significantly increase serum cortisol level and may affect mental health in servicemen. The increase of serum cortisol level is significantly related to mania disorder during sleep deprivation.

Keywords: Cortisol; Mania; Mental health; Military Personnel Mental Disorder Prediction Scale; Servicemen; Sleep deprivation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bipolar Disorder / blood
  • Bipolar Disorder / etiology
  • China
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Military Personnel*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • ROC Curve
  • Reference Values
  • Sleep Deprivation / blood*
  • Sleep Deprivation / complications
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult


  • Hydrocortisone