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Effects of menstrual cycle phase and oral contraceptives on alertness, cognitive performance, and circadian rhythms during sleep deprivationThe influence of menstrual cycle phase and oral contraceptive use on neurobehavioral function and circadian rhythms were studied in healthy young women (n = 25) using a modified constant routine procedure during 24 h of sleep deprivation. Alertness and performance worsened across sleep deprivation and also varied with circadian phase. Entrained circadian rhythms of melatonin and body temperature were evident in women regardless of menstrual phase or oral contraceptive use. No significant difference in melatonin levels, duration, or phase was observed between women in the luteal and follicular phases, whereas oral contraceptives appeared to increase melatonin levels. Temperature levels were higher in the luteal phase and in oral contraceptive users compared to women in the follicular phase. Alertness on the maintenance of wakefulness test and some tests of cognitive performance were poorest for women in the follicular phase especially near the circadian trough of body temperature. These observations suggest that hormonal changes associated with the menstrual cycle and the use of oral contraceptives contribute to changes in nighttime waking neurobehavioral function and temperature level whereas these factors do not appear to affect circadian phase.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Wright, K. P. Jr
(Bowling Green State University OH 43403, United States)
Badia, P.
Czeisler, C. A.
Date Acquired
August 22, 2013
Publication Date
September 1, 1999
Publication Information
Publication: Behavioural brain research
Volume: 103
Issue: 2
ISSN: 0166-4328
Subject Category
Behavioral Sciences
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
NASA Discipline Regulatory Physiology
Clinical Trial
Non-NASA Center

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