Moods in everyday situations: effects of menstrual cycle, work, and stress hormones

J Psychosom Res. 2005 Apr;58(4):343-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychores.2004.11.003.


Objective: This study examined women's mood responsiveness on work and off days during different phases of the menstrual cycle.

Methods: Self-reports of negative, positive, and energy dimensions of mood were obtained throughout the day on two work and two off days during the luteal and follicular phases of the menstrual cycle in 203 women nurses. Individual differences in daytime and nighttime epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol were assessed.

Results: High daytime norepinephrine, epinephrine, and cortisol levels were associated with higher ratings of stress and tired, and with lower ratings of happy. The phase of the menstrual cycle and the day factor (workday, off day) were also associated with mood differences, and the direction of the effects depended on hormone levels and hormone sampling period.

Conclusion: The experience of moods is affected by the arousal-related interaction of hormone levels with the phase of the menstrual cycle and occupational stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / psychology*
  • Adult
  • Affect* / physiology
  • Arousal / physiology
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Epinephrine / blood*
  • Female
  • Follicular Phase / psychology
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Luteal Phase / psychology
  • Menstrual Cycle / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Norepinephrine / blood*
  • Workload / psychology*


  • Hydrocortisone
  • Norepinephrine
  • Epinephrine