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Testing Fails to Find Link Between PMS, Poor Sleep

Women with PMS, control group underwent sleep studies during different phases of menstrual cycle

MONDAY, Oct. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Although women with severe PMS often report poor quality sleep during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle -- the time between ovulation and menstruation -- polysomnography and EEG found no difference in sleep quality due to premenstrual symptoms in a sample of women, as reported in the Oct. 1 issue of the journal Sleep.

Fiona C. Baker, Ph.D., of SRI International in Menlo Park, Calif., and colleagues analyzed data from nine women with severe PMS or premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and 12 women with mild or no PMS. Their ages ranged from 18 to 40. The women all maintained daily sleep diaries for two menstrual cycles. Each underwent polysomnography twice during her menstrual cycle -- once during the follicular phase and once during the late luteal phase.

The authors found that each group of women showed similar levels of sleep architecture alteration in the late luteal phase. As a result, "Expression of premenstrual symptoms, therefore, is not associated with specific changes in the sleep EEG," the authors noted. This finding supports those of previous studies.

However, the authors wrote, "we found some intriguing differences in sleep architecture between women with PMS and control subjects that were not limited to the symptomatic LLP (late luteal phase), suggesting that the sleep EEG may be altered in women with PMS in a trait-like manner, independent of symptom expression."

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