Daily rhythms of hunger and satiety in healthy men during one week of sleep restriction and circadian misalignment

Charli Sargent, Xuan Zhou, Raymond W. Matthews, David Darwent, Gregory D. Roach

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46 Citations (Scopus)


The impact of sleep restriction on the endogenous circadian rhythms of hunger and satiety were examined in 28 healthy young men. Participants were scheduled to 2 × 24-h days of baseline followed by 8 × 28-h days of forced desynchrony during which sleep was either moderately restricted (equivalent to 6 h in bed/24 h; n = 14) or severely restricted (equivalent to 4 h in bed/24 h; n = 14). Self-reported hunger and satisfaction were assessed every 2.5 h during wake periods using visual analogue scales. Participants were served standardised meals and snacks at regular intervals and were not permitted to eat ad libitum. Core body temperature was continuously recorded with rectal thermistors to determine circadian phase. Both hunger and satiety exhibited a marked endogenous circadian rhythm. Hunger was highest, and satiety was lowest, in the biological evening (i.e., ~17:00–21:00 h) whereas hunger was lowest, and satiety was highest in the biological night (i.e., 01:00–05:00 h). The results are consistent with expectations based on previous reports and may explain in some part the decrease in appetite that is commonly reported by individuals who are required to work at night. Interestingly, the endogenous rhythms of hunger and satiety do not appear to be altered by severe—as compared to moderate—sleep restriction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number170
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 29 Jan 2016


  • Core body temperature
  • Forced desynchrony
  • Hunger
  • Satiety
  • Sleep restriction
  • Visual analogue scales

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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