The effect of acute (24‐h) sleep deprivation on exercise‐induced growth hormone (GH) and insulin‐like growth factor‐1 (IGF‐1) was examined. Ten men (20.6 ± 1.4 years) completed two randomized 24‐h sessions including a brief, high‐intensity exercise bout following either a night of sleep (SLEEP) or (24‐h) sleep deprivation (SLD). Anaerobic performance (mean power [MP], peak power [PP], minimum power [MinP], time to peak power [TTPP], fatigue index, [FI]) and total work per sprint [TWPS]) was determined from four maximal 30‐sec Wingate sprints on a cycle ergometer. Self‐reported sleep 7 days prior to each session was similar between SLEEP and SLD sessions (7.92 ± 0.33 vs. 7.98 ± 0.39 h, P =0.656, respectively) and during the actual SLEEP session in the lab, the total amount of sleep was similar to the 7 days leading up to the lab session (7.72 ± 0.14 h vs. 7.92 ± 0.33 h, respectively) ( P =0.166). No differences existed in MP, PP, MinP, TTPP, FI, TWPS, resting GH concentrations, time to reach exercise‐induced peak GH concentration (TTP), or free IGF‐1 between sessions. GH area under the curve (AUC) (825.0 ± 199.8 vs. 2212.9 ± 441.9 μg/L*min, P <0.01), exercise‐induced peak GH concentration (17.8 ± 3.7 vs. 39.6 ± 7.1 μg/L, P <0.01) and ΔGH (peak GH – resting GH) (17.2 ± 3.7 vs. 38.2 ± 7.3 μg/L, P <0.01) were significantly lower during the SLEEP versus SLD session. Our results indicate that the exercise‐induced GH response was significantly augmented in sleep‐deprived individuals.
Human growth hormone release is heavily influenced by sleep and exercise. Our study shows that sleep deprivation dramatically augments the exercise‐induced human growth hormone response.