The role of sleep in PCOS: what we know and what to consider in the future

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Sleep disturbance and clinical sleep conditions disrupt endocrine signals, energy expenditure and nutritional intake. Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are at higher risk of sleep disturbances and clinical conditions. It is possible that sleep may contribute to the exacerbation of PCOS. This review aims to explore the relationship between sleep and chronic disease, particularly in women with PCOS. Areas covered: This review narratively explores what sleep is, how to measure sleep and the possible mechanisms that support the link between sleep in adipose tissue deposition, insulin resistance and the presentation of PCOS. Expert opinion: Research shows that disturbed sleep and clinical sleep conditions disrupt energy expenditure. This may increase adipose tissue deposition and exacerbate insulin resistance which are known to worsen the presentation of PCOS. Further, sleep disturbance in women with PCOS may ameliorate any positive lifestyle changes made after diagnosis. Cognitive behavioural therapy interventions for sleep are a successful strategy for the management of sleep disturbances in the general population. However, such interventions are yet to be trialled in women with PCOS. Given the proposed implications, interventions to improve sleep could provide additional support for women with PCOS to successfully implement lifestyle strategies and should be further investigated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-318
Number of pages14
JournalExpert Review of Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • diet
  • insomnia
  • lifestyle
  • Obstructive sleep apnoea
  • PCOS
  • physical activity
  • sleep

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