Melatonin and Insomnia

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Melatonin and Insomnia

Reference: Attenburrow MEJ, Dowling BA, Sharpley AL, Cowen PJ. Case-control study of evening melatonin concentration in primary insomnia. BMJ 1996; 312:1263-64.

Summary: Evening plasma melatonin concentration was investigated in 20 men and women with insomnia and 20 matched controls. Mean age of the subjects was 54 years. Under low intensity light (under 100 lux), melatonin levels were measured every hour from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. There was a significantly higher overall plasma melatonin concentration in the controls compared to the subjects with insomnia. The difference between controls and people with insomnia became more pronounced as the evening proceeded. The authors point out the normal peak of melatonin levels is 3:00 a.m., but they did not sample up to this time. Thus, the findings may represent a delay in onset of peak secretion and not just low secretion.

Natural Product Research Consultants, Inc.

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