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Cortisol, AM & PM Test

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About Our Cortisol, AM & PM Test

Note: Fasting is not required for this test.

Measures the blood's cortisol levels released in response to stress, in both the morning and afternoon.

This blood test measures levels of the hormone cortisol in the morning and again in the afternoon to provide feedback on its fluctuation. The hormone cortisol (hydrocortisone) is made by the adrenal glands and is the most prominent glucocorticosteroid. It plays a key role in the maintenance of several body functions.

Cortisol tests can help determine if there is a problem with the adrenal glands or the pituitary gland. Cortisol levels increase when the pituitary gland releases adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). In this test's case, one sample will be taken in the morning and another at night.

Typically, if you have a normal sleep schedule where you wake in the morning and go to sleep at nighttime, cortisol levels rise and fall in conjunction. In the morning, cortisol levels are usually their highest around 7 a.m. In the evening, crtisol levels often drop very low. This may be reversed if your sleep schedule differs.


Cortisol levels can be affected by:

  • Infection
  • Injury
  • Stress (Emotional or Physical)
  • Strenuous Activity
  • Steroid Medications

Typically, the AM blood collection should be done between 7AM and 9AM, while the PM collection should be done between 3PM and 5PM.

Medically Reviewed by: 2019-05-20

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