Behavioral Symptomatology in the Premenstruum

Nhan Dang, Dina Khalil, Jiehuan Sun, Aamina Naveed, Fatimata Soumare, Robin Nusslock, Ajna Hamidovic*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Sleep and eating behaviors are disturbed during the premenstrual phase of the menstrual cycle in a significant number of reproductive-age women. Despite their impact on the development and control of chronic health conditions, these behaviors are poorly understood. In the present study, we sought to identify affective and psychological factors which associate with premenstrual changes in sleeping and eating behaviors and assess how they impact functionality. Methods: Fifty-seven women provided daily ratings of premenstrual symptomatology and functionality across two-three menstrual cycles (156 cycles total). For each participant and symptom, we subtracted the mean day +5 to +10 (“post-menstruum”) ratings from mean day −6 to −1 (“pre-menstruum”) ratings and divided this value by participant-and symptom-specific variance. We completed the statistical analysis using multivariate linear regression. Results: Low interest was associated with a premenstrual increase in insomnia (p ≤ 0.05) and appetite/eating (p ≤ 0.05). Furthermore, insomnia was associated with occupational (p ≤ 0.001), recreational (p ≤ 0.001), and relational (p ≤ 0.01) impairment. Conclusions: Results of the present analysis highlight the importance of apathy (i.e., low interest) on the expression of behavioral symptomatology, as well as premenstrual insomnia on impairment. These findings can inform treatment approaches, thereby improving care for patients suffering from premenstrual symptomatology linked to chronic disease conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number814
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • food cravings
  • premenstrual dysphoric disorder
  • premenstrual eating/sleeping behaviors
  • premenstrual syndrome
  • sleep disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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