Although there is a circadian rhythm in blood melatonin concentrations in humans, the problems associated with frequent blood collection limit the use of this rhythm in the investigation of the circadian system and in the diagnosis and treatment of chronobiological disorders. Therefore, to establish a convenient, non-invasive technique for monitoring melatonin circadian rhythmicity, we compared the melatonin concentrations in blood samples collected from five subjects every 2-4 h over a 26 h period, with the melatonin concentrations in saliva samples and with the total amount of 6-hydroxymelatonin sulphate excreted in the urine during 2-h periods. There was significant correlation between serum and salivary melatonin concentrations (r = 0.81, P less than 0.001), and between serum melatonin concentrations and 6-hydroxymelatonin sulphate excretion rates (r = 0.72, P less than 0.001). The results demonstrate that both salivary melatonin concentrations and urinary 6-hydroxymelatonin sulphate excretion rates are reliable indices of serum melatonin concentrations. These measurements, in combination with frequent sample collection, provide two convenient, non-invasive techniques for monitoring melatonin circadian rhythmicity.