The dynamics of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and cortisol secretion from sleep through awakening were examined by collecting and analyzing saliva samples using a novel method. Sixteen male university students who voluntarily participated in this study were instructed to sleep from 0000 h to 0600 h, and their salivary cortisol and DHEA concentrations were evaluated during sleep until 1 h after awakening. We observed a marked elevation in DHEA upon awakening, referred to as the DHEA awakening response (DAR), which peaked at a different time from that of cortisol awakening response (CAR). Furthermore, DAR correlated positively with the subject's subjective quality of sleep, whereas cortisol concentration did not. Therefore, the DAR may be an index of subjective sleep quality.
2016 Japanese Society for Medical and Biological Engineering