Overnight Melatonin Concentration and Sleep Quality Are Associated with the Clinical Features of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Adam T. Evans, Heidi Vanden Brink, Jessica S. Lim, Brittany Y. Jarrett, Annie W. Lin, Marla E. Lujan, Kathleen Hoeger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Circulating melatonin is elevated in women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS); whether circadian disruptions coincide with sleep disturbances in women with PCOS or their symptom severity is unclear. The objective of this observational pilot study was to determine whether altered patterns of melatonin excretion are associated with reduced sleep quality in women with versus without PCOS. Participants underwent a clinical assessment, transvaginal ultrasound, and reproductive hormone testing. Morning and evening urine samples were assayed for urinary 6-sulfatoxymelatonin (MEL) as a proxy for melatonin production. The night (morning MEL)-to-day (evening MEL) ratio, or N:D ratio, was determined to approximate the rhythm of MEL production. Sleep quality and duration were assessed using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and wrist actigraphy. No differences were detected in overnight MEL, daytime MEL, or the N:D ratio in participants with PCOS versus controls. The PCOS group experienced reduced weekend sleep efficiency vs. controls (81% vs. 88% p < 0.05). The number of follicles per ovary (FNPO) was positively associated with overnight MEL (r = 0.359, p < 0.05). Weekend sleep time and overnight MEL concentrations were dependent on PCOS status. Therefore, diagnostic features of PCOS were associated with MEL production and sleep disturbances, suggesting that women with a more severe clinical presentation of PCOS may be more likely to experience altered MEL production or sleep disturbances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2763
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • circadian rhythm
  • melatonin
  • ovary
  • polycystic ovary syndrome
  • sleep
  • sleep quality

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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