Aldosterone release during the sleep-wake cycle in humans

Am J Physiol. 1999 Jan;276(1):E43-9. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.1999.276.1.E43.


The aim of this study was to assess the relative influence on the 24-h aldosterone profile of the adrenocorticotropic system, primarily modulated by a circadian rhythmicity, and the renin-angiotensin system, which is influenced by sleep. Cortisol, plasma renin activity (PRA), and aldosterone were measured for 24 h in healthy subjects under basal conditions, once with nocturnal sleep and once with a night of sleep deprivation followed by 8 h of daytime sleep. The sleep period displayed high mean aldosterone levels, pulse amplitude, and frequency that were reduced during waking periods. During sleep, aldosterone pulses were mainly related to PRA oscillations, whereas they were mainly associated with cortisol pulses during waking periods. Cross-correlation analysis between sleep electroencephalographic activity in the delta band and aldosterone levels yielded significant results, aldosterone following delta waves by approximately 30 min. This study demonstrates that the 24-h aldosterone profile is strongly influenced by sleep processes. A dual influence, by the renin-angiotensin system during sleep and by the adrenocorticotropic system during wakefulness, is exerted on aldosterone pulses throughout the 24-h period.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aldosterone / blood
  • Aldosterone / metabolism*
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology
  • Electroencephalography
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood
  • Male
  • Pulsatile Flow
  • Renin / blood
  • Sleep / physiology
  • Sleep Stages / physiology*
  • Wakefulness / physiology*


  • Aldosterone
  • Renin
  • Hydrocortisone