I've passed half or more of my life, sleeping in very late and often after the sun rises. Now I believe that I'm already feeling its effect. Some of my hormones are under the ideal levels and I have a deficiency in vitamin D.

What are the effects of sleeping during the day and not at night for work reasons or just habit? Is there any effect that can't be reversed simply by sleeping at night? (Assuming that you are sleeping enough time per day like 7-8 hours)

Could this sleep pattern be related to endocrine ills and other ills?


2 Answers 2


Well regular sleeping during the day might damage health. Try avoiding it if possible as research has been conducted which suggests that there is a linkage between irregular sleep and hormone production.

Evidence also suggests that lack of sleep won't do you as much damage as irregular or day sleep. I suggest try changing your profession. If that isn't possible due to personal or social reasons then I'd say try adjusting your shift so you can sleep at night.

Erratic sleep is bad no matter what. While you might be able to reduce the effects bit napping at night, it won't make much difference.

You have Vitamin D deficiency because of lack of exposure to sunlight and pills and taking walk in the sunlight can fix that easily.

Growth Hormone deficiency does as a matter of fact effect your sleeping pattern and vice versa. I don't know your age neither am I a doctor but assuming you are young enough, this can be fixed by medical help and change in habits.

...shifted sleep appears to disrupt gene activity even more than not getting enough sleep, according to the research.

In a study published in PNAS, 22 young, healthy subjects were tested in a sleep lab. Interrupting their sleep so that their longest period of sleep was from noon until about 6:30 p.m., they found

On the days of shifted sleep... the number of genes tied to the body's clock dropped dramatically, to 228 genes, or only 1 percent of genes analyzed. ...The researchers estimated that the sleep disruptions would ultimately impact about a third of a person's genes.

This is significantly more than found in studies done on sleep deprivation.

"We think that may be related to the negative health outcomes associated with long-term shift work," Dijk said. Shift workers are at higher risk for many health problems, including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, disrupted menstrual cycles and cancer, he said.


Growth hormone deficient children have a significant decrease in total sleep time, efficiency, movement and in non-rapid eye movement sleep stage 2.

  • 2
    That PNAS study isn't saying what you think it is saying. First of all, these subjects did not usually have that sleep rhythm, like the OP does. The researchers deliberately interrupted their sleep to get them to sleep from noon to evening. Second, the effect they saw was that genes were activated differently than with the subject's usual rhythm. While that's interesting, it is not in itself either a positive or negative effect. That's discussed in the WebMD article as well, but there's a lot of handwaving with "we don't know what this means, but it probably isn't good"
    – YviDe
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 21:15
  • 1
    At least from your sources, I don't think "lack of sleep won't do you as much damage as irregular or day sleep" is justified.
    – YviDe
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 21:18

Alright let's address some of those deficiencies!

Vitamin-D: You produce this when you stand in the sun. Seriously. Unfortunately there isn't really good research about how long to go outside to get enough. Some sources suggest that 30 minutes twice a week is good enough. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17634462?dopt=Abstract

AST and the IGF growth factor tests mean that the doc is checking for liver and/or pituitary gland issues that could be affecting your growth or overall health. It's entirely possible that these are out of range and not indicative of a problem. Assuming that you are healthy aside from the Vit-D, we will only consider sleep.

There is quite a bit of evidence for shift workers having increased rates of certain illnesses. Unfortunately, it is hard to say whether this is because of the actual timing of the work or because of the interruptions in sleep that tend to be more prevalent among people who sleep in this way.


Long story short, yes. Sleep can cause some illnesses. I can't find any references for growth hormone supression, but sleep disturbances can affect the endocrine system in other ways (like diabetes) that are fairly well documented. Now get off stack-exchange and go to bed. Oh, and go outside tomorrow and get your Vitamin D!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.