, Volume 112, Issue 4, pp 490-496

Effect of pharmacological daytime doses of melatonin on human mood and performance

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Melatonin (10, 20, 40, or 80 mg, PO) or placebo was administered at 1145 hours on five separate occasions to 20 healthy male volunteers and the effects on serum melatonin levels, mood, performance, and oral temperature were monitored. Subjects were studied between 0930 and 1700 hours. A battery of interactive computer tasks designed to assess performance and mood was completed, oral temperature was measured, and blood samples were taken for serum melatonin radioimmunoassay. The areas under the time-melatonin concentration curve (AUC) varied significantly in proportion to the various melatonin doses. Compared with placebo treatment, all melatonin doses significantly decreased oral temperature, number of correct responses in auditory vigilance, response latency in reaction time, and self-reported vigor. Melatonin also increased self-reported fatigue, confusion, and sleepiness.