Sleep extension increases IGF-I concentrations before and during sleep deprivation in healthy young men

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2016 Sep;41(9):963-70. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2016-0110. Epub 2016 May 13.


Sleep deprivation is known to suppress circulating trophic factors such as insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-I and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). This experiment examined the effect of an intervention involving 6 nights of extended sleep before total sleep deprivation on this catabolic profile. In a randomized crossover design, 14 young men (age range: 26-37 years) were either in an extended (EXT; time in bed: 2100-0700 h) or habitual (HAB: 2230-0700 h) sleep condition, followed by 3 days in the laboratory with blood sampling at baseline (B), after 24 h of sleep deprivation (24h-SD), and after 1 night of recovery sleep (R). In the EXT condition compared with the HAB condition, free IGF-I levels were significantly higher at B, 24h-SD, and R (P < 0.001), and those of total IGF-I at B and 24h-SD (P < 0.05). EXT did not influence growth hormone, IGF binding protein 3, BDNF, insulin, and glucose levels. The only effect of 24 h of sleep deprivation was for insulin levels, which were significantly higher after R compared with B. In a healthy adult, additional sleep over 1 week increased blood concentrations of the anabolic factor IGF-I before and during 24 h of sleep deprivation and after the subsequent recovery night without effects on BDNF. With further research, these findings may prove to be important in guiding effective lifestyle modifications to limit physical or cognitive deficits associated with IGF-I decrease with age.

Keywords: IGF-I; healthy men; hommes sains; privation de sommeil; prolongation du sommeil; sleep deprivation; sleep extension.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor / blood
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Human Growth Hormone / blood
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3 / blood
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / analysis*
  • Male
  • Saliva / chemistry
  • Sleep Deprivation / blood
  • Sleep Deprivation / therapy*
  • Sleep*
  • Up-Regulation*


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Glucose
  • Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor
  • IGF1 protein, human
  • IGFBP3 protein, human
  • Insulin
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 3
  • Human Growth Hormone
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • BDNF protein, human