Acute Sleep Disruption Does Not Diminish Pulsatile Growth Hormone Secretion in Pubertal Children

Madison E. Calvert, Samantha A. Molsberry, Tairmae Kangarloo, Md Rafiul Amin, Valentina Genty, Rose T. Faghih, Elizabeth B. Klerman, Natalie D. Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Context: In children, growth hormone (GH) pulses occur after sleep onset in association with slow-wave sleep (SWS). There have been no studies in children to quantify the effect of disrupted sleep on GH secretion. Objective: This study aimed to investigate the effect of acute sleep disruption on GH secretion in pubertal children. Methods: Fourteen healthy individuals (aged 11.3-14.1 years) were randomly assigned to 2 overnight polysomnographic studies, 1 with and 1 without SWS disruption via auditory stimuli, with frequent blood sampling to measure GH. Results: Auditory stimuli delivered during the disrupted sleep night caused a 40.0 ± 7.8% decrease in SWS. On SWS-disrupted sleep nights, the rate of GH pulses during N2 sleep was significantly lower than during SWS (IRR = 0.56; 95% CI, 0.32-0.97). There were no differences in GH pulse rates during the various sleep stages or wakefulness in disrupted compared with undisrupted sleep nights. SWS disruption had no effect on GH pulse amplitude and frequency or basal GH secretion. Conclusion: In pubertal children, GH pulses were temporally associated with episodes of SWS. Acute disruption of sleep via auditory tones during SWS did not alter GH secretion. These results indicate that SWS may not be a direct stimulus of GH secretion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberbvac146
JournalJournal of the Endocrine Society
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2022


  • children
  • growth hormone
  • puberty
  • sleep
  • slow-wave sleep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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