Persometrics

Cortisol sampling

What do we mean by awake?

To be “awake” means that you are fully conscious, you know who and where you are; you are in a state that is clearly different from when you were sleeping even though you may still feel tired. If you wake up during the middle of the night and plan to go back to sleep, do not begin sampling. Please only begin when you are awake for the final time before you plan to get up for the day.

What if I had a bad night’s sleep?

It is ok if you struggled falling asleep; it is above all the hours before waking up that concern us. If you had an uneasy wake-up and do not feel you have a clear time point for when you went from “asleep to awake”), it is better to defer the testing to a different day.

What if I forget to take the first morning sample right away?

If more than 5 minutes pass after you wake up before you give your sample, please defer to a different day.

Do I need to keep the samples cold?

The hormone of interest will keep stable in saliva for up to a week at room temperature. We recommend you put the samples in the fridge (especially during the warm season), until they are shipped (maximum 24 hours later). Full instructions are given inside the pack.

What if I follow a different night/day pattern?

Our norms are based on an average European adult population with no discrimination of profession, but who in average woke up between 6 and 8 and to fell asleep between 22:00 and midnight. Research has shown that the cortisol awakening response is robust in relation to wake-up time. However, since some people follow different diurnal patterns (due to night shifts or jetlags, for instance) we ask that all samples be taken in relation to wake-up time, including the "afternoon" and "evening" samples.

This means that you can still use the diurnal cortisol kits even if your night/day patterns are a little 'off'.

Full instructions are provided with the test packs.

Can I start the stress test questionnaire over again?

We have allowed a 'back' function in the questionnaire. There is also a full 'reset' function in the questionnaire provided you have not completed it yet. If for whatever reason you need to void your results once you have completed and submitted your results, please contact Persometrics so we can reset the questionnaire for you.

What if I forgot the procedure this morning and as a consequence started sampling late?

It is important that the first saliva sample provided within the first 8 minutes of waking up. The reason we can allow a few minutes is that it takes time for cortisol to secrete into saliva. Further, we fact that you provide a further 2 (and not just one, as is done by some other labs) gives us some flexibility of the formulae to catch the desired information. However, if you forgot the sampling and it took more than 6-8 minutes we do recommend deferring the testing to a different day.

How do you measure burnout?

Our algorithm takes into account both questionnaire data and hormone data. The questionnaire data is important because there are other factors that may influence hormones, and these must be controlled before we can draw conclusions from said hormone data. This is common in most physicological data: some form of clinical information is important before lab results should be ordered.

General (English)

Where do you deliver

We currently deliver to Switzerland, Norway, Liechenstein and most of the European Union, reliability of postal service being the main factor here. See map below.

How do you manage to keep delivery costs so low? What's the catch?

We try to keep packaging to a minimum. Smaller packaging not only helps save the environment in line with our "Reduce-Reuse-Recycle-Offset" policy, but also means that delivery costs can be kept down. Please do bear this in mind also when you open your parcel, which may not include as much wrapping as you are used to. It is safe for transport but does not include more paper, carton and plastic than is necessary. Incidentally, we try to reuse plastic when we can too!

What do you do to avoid plastic? What have you done for the environment?

Plastic has become a global problem, and we do everything we can to avoid it. In fact, we even try to reuse plastic protection tubes. Plastic straws are also an issue. We are currently testing whether paper straws can replace plastic without lowering the validity of the test results. This is done in cooperation with Daacro, which in turn is affiliated with the University of Trier, Germany.

Persometrics plastic straws used in hormone sampling

What if I forgot the procedure this morning and as a consequence started sampling late?

It is important that the first saliva sample provided within the first 8 minutes of waking up. The reason we can allow a few minutes is that it takes time for cortisol to secrete into saliva. Further, we fact that you provide a further 2 (and not just one, as is done by some other labs) gives us some flexibility of the formulae to catch the desired information. However, if you forgot the sampling and it took more than 6-8 minutes we do recommend deferring the testing to a different day.

How do you measure burnout?

Our algorithm takes into account both questionnaire data and hormone data. The questionnaire data is important because there are other factors that may influence hormones, and these must be controlled before we can draw conclusions from said hormone data. This is common in most physicological data: some form of clinical information is important before lab results should be ordered.