To determine whether the increases in growth hormone that occur during sleep alter carbohydrate tolerance the following morning, two groups of volunteers were studied on two occasions. In one group saline alone was injected and infused (i.e. no octreotide) on one occasion and on the other octreotide was injected at 23.00 hours to inhibit endogenous growth hormone secretion followed by saline infusion to create a state of relative nocturnal growth hormone deficiency. In the other group the octreotide injection was followed on one occasion by a constant growth hormone infusion designed to maintain growth hormone concentrations at "basal" levels throughout the night whereas on the other it was followed by a constant infusion plus two supplemental growth hormone infusions given at midnight and 02.30 hours to mimic the normal nocturnal rise in growth hormone. The next morning, subjects were fed a radiolabelled mixed meal. The differences in the nocturnal growth hormone concentrations had no effect on the glucose, insulin, C-peptide and glucagon concentrations following breakfast ingestion nor did they alter postprandial rates of glucose production, disappearance or substrate oxidation. Thus, the normal nocturnal rise in growth hormone does not appear to be an important regulator of carbohydrate tolerance the following morning.