Salivary melatonin levels and sleep-wake rhythms in pregnant women with hypertensive and glucose metabolic disorders: A prospective analysis

Biosci Trends. 2016 Feb;10(1):34-41. doi: 10.5582/bst.2015.01123. Epub 2016 Feb 6.


In preeclampsia and gestational diabetes, the sympathetic nerves are activated, leading to disrupted sleep. Melatonin, which transmits information to regulate the sleep-wake rhythm and other such biorhythms, has been implicated in insulin resistance, antioxidant behaviors, and metabolic syndrome. In addition, its reduced secretion increases the risk of hypertension and diabetes. The aim of this study was to elucidate the features of melatonin secretion, sleep quality, and sleep-wake rhythms in pregnant women with complications. Fifty-eight pregnant women with pregnancy complications (hypertensive or glucose metabolic disorders) and 40 healthy pregnant women completed questionnaires, including sleep logs and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), during the second to third trimesters. Their salivary melatonin levels were also measured. Pregnant women with complications had significantly lower morning (p < 0.001), daytime (p < 0.01), evening (p < 0.001), night (p < 0.01), daily mean (p < 0.001), peak (p < 0.001), and bottom (p < 0.01) melatonin values than healthy pregnant women. Pregnant women with complications also had significantly smaller melatonin amplitudes than healthy pregnant women (p < 0.001). Among pregnant women with complications, the duration (p < 0.05) and frequency (p < 0.01) of wake after sleep-onset were significantly greater in the poor sleep group than in the favorable sleep group which was divided by PSQI cutoff value. Pregnant women with hypertensive or glucose metabolic disorder complications had smaller circadian variation in salivary melatonin secretion, and their values were lower throughout the day than healthy pregnant women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pregnancy-Induced / physiopathology*
  • Melatonin / metabolism*
  • Metabolic Syndrome / metabolism
  • Metabolic Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prospective Studies
  • Saliva / metabolism*
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Wakefulness / physiology*


  • Glucose
  • Melatonin