Sleep Med Psychophysiol.  2002 Dec;9(2):81-85.

Menstruation and Sleep

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Neuropsychiatry, Cheongju St. Mary's Hospital, Cheongju, Korea.

Abstract

There are several factors which are more likely to have sleep disorders in fertile women with menstruation than adult men. Menstrual cycle plays an important role in them. We describe herein the overview about the association of menstrual cycle and sleep disorders by viewing the interactions of menstrual cycle and circadian rhythm. We review how menstrual cycle affects sleep-wake cycle by reviewing menstrual cycle and estrous cycle to understand these interactions. Menstrual cycle and estrous cycle are mainly affected by hormonal cycle and light-dark cycle, respectively and they are generally determined in monthly rhythm and annual rhythm, respectively. The determination of estrous cycle is also affected by cyclic changes of hormones besides light-dark cycle. Although sleep-wake cycle almost alternates according to estrous cycle in non-primate mammal, it is hardly affected by menstrual cycle in primate mammals as compared with estrous cycle. But menstrual cycle affects sleep-wake cycle via desynchronization of sleep-wake cycle and temperature rhythm. The decrease of amplitude and phasic change during luteal phase in the daily fluctuation of body core temperature can partially contribute to the induction of sleep disorders in fertile women. In addition to this, premenstrual syndrome which nearly happens during luteal phase commonly have sleep problems. Therefore, we suggest that menstrual cycle and PMS can partially contribute the increase of sleep disorders in fertile women.

Keyword

Menstruation; Menstrual cycle; Estrous cycle; Sleep disorder; Sleep-wake cycle

MeSH Terms

Adult
Circadian Rhythm
Estrous Cycle
Female
Humans
Luteal Phase
Male
Mammals
Menstrual Cycle
Menstruation*
Photoperiod
Premenstrual Syndrome
Primates
Sleep Wake Disorders
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