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Recurrent short sleep, chronic insomnia symptoms and salivary cortisol: A 10-year follow-up in the Whitehall II study.

Abell, JG; Shipley, MJ; Ferrie, JE; Kivimäki, M; Kumari, M; (2016) Recurrent short sleep, chronic insomnia symptoms and salivary cortisol: A 10-year follow-up in the Whitehall II study. Psychoneuroendocrinology , 68 pp. 91-99. 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2016.02.021. Green open access

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Abstract

Although an association between both sleep duration and disturbance with salivary cortisol has been suggested, little is known about the long term effects of poor quality sleep on diurnal cortisol rhythm. The aim of this study was to examine the association of poor quality sleep, categorised as recurrent short sleep duration and chronic insomnia symptoms, with the diurnal release of cortisol. We examined this in 3314 participants from an occupational cohort, originally recruited in 1985-1989. Salivary cortisol was measured in 2007-2009 and six saliva samples were collected: (1) waking, (2) waking+0.5h, (3) +2.5h, (4) +8h, (5) +12h and (6) bedtime, for assessment of the cortisol awakening response and the diurnal slope in cortisol secretion. Participants with the first saliva sample collected within 15min of waking and not on steroid medication were examined. Short sleep duration (≤5h) and insomnia symptoms (Jenkins scale, highest quartile) were measured in 1997-1999, 2003-2004 and 2007-2009. Recurrent short sleep was associated with a flatter diurnal cortisol pattern. A steeper morning rise in cortisol was observed among those reporting chronic insomnia symptoms at three time points and among those reporting short sleep twice, compared to those who never reported sleep problems. Participants reporting short sleep on three occasions had higher levels of cortisol later in the day, compared to those never reporting short sleep, indicated by a positive interaction with hours since waking (β=0.02 (95% CI: 0.01, 0.03)). We conclude that recurrent sleep problems are associated with adverse salivary cortisol patterns throughout the day.

Type: Article
Title: Recurrent short sleep, chronic insomnia symptoms and salivary cortisol: A 10-year follow-up in the Whitehall II study.
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2016.02.021
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2016.02.021
Additional information: © 2016 The Authors.Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Cortisol, Insomnia symptoms, Sleep duration
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1477648
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