Diurnal variation of intraocular pressure and the overriding effects of sleep

Am J Optom Physiol Opt. 1987 Jan;64(1):54-61. doi: 10.1097/00006324-198701000-00010.


Intraocular pressure (IOP) was recorded regularly over a 24-h period in 13 normal subjects. All subjects showed a dramatic rise in IOP after sleep, ranging from 37 to 248%. In a second experiment, IOP decreased when 15 subjects remained upright and awake throughout the night. When sleep was not permitted IOP was lowest at 3:00 a.m. (0300); when six of these subjects were permitted to sleep from 0600 to 0800, they showed a rapid and significant increase in IOP of up to 150%, whereas the remaining nine subjects showed (posturally induced) increases of up to 38%.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure*
  • Male
  • Melatonin / blood
  • Posture
  • Sleep*
  • Tonometry, Ocular
  • Wakefulness


  • Melatonin