Self-reported sleep across the menstrual cycle in young, healthy women

J Psychosom Res. 2004 Feb;56(2):239-43. doi: 10.1016/S0022-3999(03)00067-9.


Objective: To establish the association between subjective sleep and phase of the menstrual cycle in healthy, young, ovulating women.

Methods: Twenty-six women (mean age: 21 years) who did not suffer from any menstrual-associated disorders, and in whom we had detected ovulation, completed daily questionnaires about their sleep over 1 month.

Results: The women reported a lower sleep quality over the 3 premenstrual days and 4 days during menstruation, compared to the mid-follicular and early/mid luteal phases. Total sleep time, sleep onset latency, number and duration of awakenings, and morning vigilance were not affected by the menstrual cycle.

Conclusion: The normal, ovulatory cycle is associated with changes in the perception of sleep quality but not sleep continuity in healthy, young women. The temporal relationship of sleep complaints with menstrual phase should be considered in the evaluation of sleep disorders, particularly insomnia, in women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Menstrual Cycle*
  • Polysomnography
  • Self-Assessment*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / diagnosis
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Wakefulness