Circadian antroduodenal motor activity was studied in 40 normal subjects by means of a portable recording system consisting of a computerized data logger and a probe with microtransducers. The quantitative and qualitative characteristics of contraction events during the interdigestive and digestive periods, as well as during the awake and asleep periods, were analysed. The composition and timing of meals and night recumbence were standardized. In spite of the high interindividual variability in motor parameters, significant differences in the characteristics of interdigestive and digestive periods between waking and sleep states were found. This paper confirms the existence of a circadian variation in antroduodenal motor activity and provides reference values from a large series of normal subjects that can be used for statistical comparisons with those obtained from patients recorded with the same method.