Relationship between sleep and secretion of gonadotropin and ovarian hormones in women with normal cycles

Fertil Steril. 2002 Apr;77(4):738-44. doi: 10.1016/s0015-0282(01)03254-x.


Objective: To monitor gonadotropin and ovarian hormone levels in relation to sleep duration in normally cycling women.

Design: Observational and cross-sectional study.

Setting: Multicentric collaborative study.

Patient(s): One hundred six healthy and normally cycling women, aged 19 to 44 years, with cycle lengths of 24 to 34 days.

Intervention(s): Follow-up during one to four consecutive cycles with daily urine collection.

Main outcome measure(s): Urine concentrations of LH, FSH, estrone-3-glucuronide (E1-3-G), and pregnanediol-3-alpha-glucuronide (Pd-3alpha-G). Ultrasound determination of day of ovulation and estimation of sleep duration.

Result(s): We found a significant association between FSH levels and sleep duration (P=.008). Follicle-stimulating hormone levels were 20% higher in long-time sleepers than in short-time sleepers. This association persisted whatever the age or the body mass index. There was no significant association between belonging to any group and LH, E1-3-G, or Pd-3alpha-G levels.

Conclusion(s): Our results suggest that sleep duration could be related to FSH levels, although the study design did not allow us to establish a causal relationship nor to explain the physiological basis of the observed relationship.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aging
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Estrogens / metabolism*
  • Estrone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Estrone / urine
  • Female
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone / urine
  • Gonadotropins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Luteinizing Hormone / urine
  • Menstrual Cycle*
  • Ovarian Follicle / diagnostic imaging
  • Ovulation
  • Pregnanediol / analogs & derivatives*
  • Pregnanediol / urine
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Ultrasonography


  • Estrogens
  • Gonadotropins
  • pregnanediol-3 alpha-glucuronide
  • estrone-3-glucuronide
  • Estrone
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone
  • Pregnanediol