How to Do a Saliva Test for Cortisol  – LIFESTYLE BY PS icon

How to Do a Saliva Test for Cortisol 

Cortisol is a hormone that affects mood, appetite, and fear. It is mainly known as the body’s stress hormone, as it is released during stressful situations.

Everybody undergoes stress, which is why it is essential to measure your cortisol levels occasionally. Cortisol affects a lot of systems in your body, which includes the immune system and circulatory system. 

Using a Cortisol Saliva Test Kit is the best way to determine your stress levels. The test can be done in your home, and they are not even expensive. There are specific guidelines that need to be followed before, during, and after a saliva test.

What to do before the saliva test for Cortisol

No Eating

It is highly discouraged to eat or drink anything except for water, an hour before collecting samples. Also, brushing and flossing your teeth is prohibited, as it may introduce unnecessary elements for the saliva test. 

Make sure that your gums and other areas of the mouth aren’t swollen or bleeding before the collection of saliva. 


Before you begin your saliva test, an essential consideration is to clean your mouth first. Rinse for 30 seconds and make sure to wash your hands thoroughly as well. After this, you have to wait for a good five minutes before you proceed to do the saliva test. 

What to do during the saliva test 

The method of collecting saliva is straightforward. First, get the container with the swab and remove the stopper. Without removing anything, place the swab directly under the tongue and let it move freely.

Keep it in the mouth for about two to three minutes to help the swab to absorb enough specimen. To finish, return the swab to its container and close it tightly with the new cap. 

What to do after the saliva test 


Always make sure to label the vial including the date and time it was collected and your date of birth


To preserve the samples up to the last collection, make sure that the vials containing it are kept in the refrigerator. Place them in a cool area and not in the freezer. 

Ship it

Use the plastic envelope provided by the company. Fill out the prescribed requisition form and include it in the envelope. Afterward, mail it with a certified carrier to make sure that it will make its way to the company. 

Best time to take a saliva test

Most of the time, a Cortisol Saliva Test Kit contains two to four containers for specimens. A four-part saliva test is recommended to be done during the following hours:

  • 1st collection is from 6 a.m. to 8.a.m.
  • 2nd collection is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • The 3rd collection is from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • The 4th collection is from 10 p.m. to 12 p.m.

Keeping track of your cortisol level should always be a regular thing to do. It is imperative as it can help you regulate your activities to keep yourself healthy. Stress is part and parcel of life, which is why knowing how it affects your body can help battle any possible consequences.