Nocturnal sleep, daytime sleepiness, and napping among women with significant emotional/behavioral premenstrual symptoms

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The objective of this study is to examine daytime sleepiness and alertness and nap characteristics among women with significant emotional/behavioral premenstrual symptoms, and to determine their relationship with nocturnal sleep. Participants spent one night during the follicular phase and two nights during the late-luteal phase, one of which occurred after a 40 min opportunity to nap, sleeping in the laboratory. Subjective measures of sleepiness and alertness were completed during the afternoon of each recording. Setting took place at the sleep laboratory at the University of Ottawa. A total number of participants were 10 women with significant and nine women with minimal emotional/behavioral premenstrual symptoms (mean age 26 years). The results were compared with the follicular phase, both groups of women had less slow wave sleep and more stage 2 sleep at night, as well as a higher daytime and nocturnal mean and maximum temperature during the late-luteal phase. Women with significant symptoms were sleepier and less alert during the late-luteal phase and had a higher overall mean nocturnal temperature compared with women with minimal symptoms. No significant differences were found between the two groups on nap characteristics and nocturnal sleep characteristics. Results show that women with more severe premenstrual symptoms are sleepier during the late-luteal phase than women with minimal symptoms. The increased daytime sleepiness seems to be unrelated to nocturnal sleep or nap characteristics.

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