Sodium-restricted diet increases nighttime plasma norepinephrine and impairs sleep patterns in man

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1983 Mar;56(3):553-6. doi: 10.1210/jcem-56-3-553.


Plasma norepinephrine levels in 10 healthy young males were significantly elevated after 3 days of a low sodium (less than 500 mg/day) diet. The low sodium diet was also associated with disturbed sleep patterns: decreased rapid eye movement and slow wave sleep and increased wakefulness. These sleep changes are similar to those seen in normal aged adults, who also undergo elevations of daytime and nighttime plasma norepinephrine. These results suggest the possibility that increased sympathetic nervous system activity may affect sleep patterns, and that therapies altering sympathetic activity may affect sleep.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Diet, Sodium-Restricted*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Norepinephrine / blood*
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Wakefulness / physiology


  • Norepinephrine