A decrease in the quality of sleep is believed to cause anxiety and worsen depression. Comparisons of salivary melatonin levels with different factors including quality of sleep, state and trait anxieties, and depression, were conducted to examine whether there is a relationship between melatonin, presumably associated with sleep, and psychological stress. The saliva of healthy young females was collected during the daytime and before they went to bed at night (when they were awake and resting in a sitting position), and salivary melatonin levels were measured. The quality of sleep was scored using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI)–-a questionnaire method. State and trait anxieties, and depression were scored using other questionnaire methods: the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS), respectively. The following findings were obtained: (1) Salivary melatonin levels measured during the daytime and before going to bed were higher in females with a high depression score, compared to those with a low score, and there was a correlation between the depression scores and salivary melatonin levels measured at night; and (2) salivary melatonin levels measured before going to bed at night (in a sitting position) were higher in females with a high state anxiety score, suggesting a correlation between state anxiety scores and salivary melatonin levels during the night. Both depression and a sense of anxiety are forms of psychological stress. Therefore, it is assumed that, when a person is under psychological stress, the action of melatonin as a ligand on its receptor is reduced. Meaning psychological stress may induce oxidative stress in the body. On the other hand, no correlation was noted between the quality of sleep and salivary melatonin levels during the night, presumably because saliva was collected when the subjects were awake and sitting, rather than sleeping.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology