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The body's alternating cycle of sleep and waking is directly related to the levels of two key hormones: melatonin and cortisol. Understanding the fluctuations of these biomarkers throughout the day and how they relate to each other is important for determining why you may be experiencing sleeping difficulty


This at-home saliva test provides insights about your stress response and adrenal health by measuring hormone fluctuations. Results include a personalized health plan.


You might want to take this test if you


  • Feel "wired but tired"
  • Can’t wake up without strong coffee
  • Crave sugar, especially late in the day
  • Get sick when you are under stress
  • Feel irritable, anxious, or depressed
  • Experience stress often


Biomarkers Measured



The other major hormone from the adrenal gland. It helps to balance cortisol, especially if levels get too high. It’s also a precursor to reproductive hormones including estrogen and testosterone. Normal ranges vary based on age and, particularly, gender.


Thorne's Stress Test measures DHEA-sulfate (DHEA-S), the sulfate-bound form of DHEA. This form of DHEA is measured in saliva in preference to free DHEA, because it is present in higher concentrations and is more stable.



The primary stress hormone from the adrenal gland. It modulates the body’s daily and long-term responses to stress. Healthy cortisol levels help regulate energy, mood, focus, and immune response.


Metabolically in the body, cortisol and DHEA are antagonistic to each other, partially because they originate from a common precursor, the hormone pregnenolone. When stress elevates your cortisol level, pregnenolone is diverted from producing DHEA (the precursor for testosterone and estrogen) and is used to produce more cortisol. Thus, cortisol and DHEA exist in a dynamic "tug-of-war" with each other and when one is found to be elevated, the other is commonly found at lower levels. Each hormone can also directly antagonize the physiological effect of the other one in the body.


When Cortisol Is Too High

When cortisol levels are too high, your body feels "on" all the time. You may have disturbed sleep, excessive hunger, weight gain, and an anxious mood. Elevated levels of stress hormones can impair your body's ability to absorb nutrients from your food because cortisol tells your body to stop producing the enzymes needed for digestion.


When Cortisol Is Too Low

Cortisol levels that are too low can lead you to feeling tired all the time, have a low mood, get sick more frequently, have challenges with pain and inflammation, and have a hard time responding to normal everyday stress.


Stress Test Kit