The estimation of the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is essential for the evaluation of patients with kidney disease and for the treatment of patients with medications that are eliminated by the kidneys. Plasma cystatin C has been shown in several studies to be superior to plasma creatinine for the estimation of GFR. However, there is limited information on the circadian variation of cystatin C and estimated GFR using cystatin C (eGFR(CystC)) or "The Modification of Diet in Renal Disease Study" (MDRD) (eGFR(MDRD)) equations. We studied the circadian variation of cystatin C and creatinine during night- and day-sleep conditions in seven healthy volunteers. Serum samples were collected every hour (48 samples per individual) to evaluate the effect of different sampling times on the test results. The median intra-individual coefficients of variations for the studied markers were 4.2% for creatinine, 4.7% for eGFR(MDRD), 5.5% for cystatin C, and 7.7% for eGFR(CystC). Neither cystatin C nor creatinine differed significantly between the night- and day-sleep conditions. Cystatin C differed significantly with time of day (p=.0003), but this was not the case for creatinine (p=.11). The circadian variation of cystatin C was minor. Small but significant increases in creatinine values and a decrease of eGFR(MDRD) were observed after food intake. Thus, cystatin C and creatinine sampling does not have to be restricted to specific times of the day.