Neil Clarke, C.J. Morris, S. Fullick, W. Gregson, D. Doran, D. MacLaren, G. Atkinson

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16 Citations (Scopus)


Approximately 10% of employees undertake night work, which is a significant predictor of weight gain, possibly because responses to activity and eating are altered at night. It is known that the appetite-related hormone, acylated ghrelin, is suppressed after an acute bout of exercise during the day, but no researcher has explored whether evening exercise alters acylated ghrelin and other appetite-related outcomes during a subsequent night shift. Six healthy men (mean ± SD: age 30 ± 8 yrs, body mass index 23.1 ± 1.1 kg/m2) completed two crossover trials (control and exercise) in random order. Participants fasted from 10:00 h, consumed a test meal at 18:00 h, and then cycled at 50% peak oxygen uptake or rested between 19:00–20:00 h. Participants then completed light activities during a simulated night shift which ended at 05:00 h. Two small isocaloric meals were consumed at 22:00 and 02:00 h. Venous blood samples were drawn via cannulation at 1 h intervals between 19:00–05:00 h for the determination of acylated ghrelin, leptin, insulin, glucose, triglyceride, and non-esterified fatty acids concentrations. Perceived hunger and wrist actimetry were also recorded. During the simulated night shift, mean ± SD acylated ghrelin concentration was 86.5 ± 40.8 pg/ml following exercise compared with 71.7 ± 37.7 pg/ml without prior exercise (p = 0.015). Throughout the night shift, leptin concentration was 263 ± 242 pg/ml following exercise compared with 187 ± 221 pg/ml without prior exercise (p = 0.017). Mean levels of insulin, triglyceride, non-esterified fatty acids, and wrist actimetry level were also higher during the night shift that followed exercise (p <0.05). These data indicate that prior exercise increases acylated ghrelin and leptin concentrations during a subsequent simulated night shift. These findings differ from the known effects of exercise on acylated ghrelin and leptin during the day, and therefore have implications for energy balance during night work
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)590-605
JournalChronobiology International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2010


  • acylated ghrelin
  • leptin
  • hunger
  • exercise
  • night work
  • energy balance


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