The cortisol awakening response (CAR) and sleep inertia

Using an intensive case-study design of a healthy young male over 50 study days we are exploring associations between day-differences in the CAR and day differences in arousal and mood in the immediate post awakening period. Emerging data suggest that the dynamics and timing of the CAR are linked with indices of post awakening arousal, in contrast the total amount of cortisol secreted (especially after the peak) are associated with mood.

We are also examining predictors of the CAR from prior day experiences and behaviour (drinking and exercise).