Single-item chronotype is associated with dim light melatonin onset in lymphoma survivors with fatigue.


Chronotype is frequently assessed in human observational studies using various morningness-eveningness questionnaires. An alternative single-item chronotype question has been proposed for its reduced administration time and its accessibility to all types of populations. We investigated whether this single-item chronotype is associated with dim light melatonin onset, the "gold standard" for estimating the endogenous circadian phase. We used data from a randomised trial in 166 (non-)Hodgkin lymphoma survivors with cancer-related fatigue. All participants completed a questionnaire, including a single-item chronotype question. A subsample of 47 participants also provided saliva samples before sleep onset for melatonin measurement. Using multiple linear regression, we examined whether chronotype based on a single question was associated with dim light melatonin onset. The subsample of 47 participants had a mean age of 44.6 years. The mean (SD) dim light melatonin onset was at 8:42 (1:19) p.m. and the most common chronotype was more evening than morning person (29.2%). A gradual increase in dim light melatonin onset with later chronotype (i.e. evening preference) was observed, with a mean ranging from 7:45 p.m. in definite morning persons to 9:16 p.m. in definite evening persons. Our study shows that single-item chronotype is associated with dim light melatonin onset as a marker of the endogenous circadian phase of fatigued lymphoma survivors. This type of chronotype assessment can therefore be a useful alternative for more extensive morningness-eveningness questionnaires.

More about this publication

Journal of sleep research
  • Pages e13577
  • Publication date 02-03-2022

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