, Volume 126, Issue 2, pp 179–181 | Cite as

Low dose melatonin improves sleep in healthy middle-aged subjects

  • M. E. J. Attenburrow
  • P. J. Cowen
  • A. L. Sharpley
Rapid Communication


We studied the effects of single evening doses of melatonin (0.3 mg and 1.0 mg orally) on polysomnographically measured sleep in 15 healthy middle-aged volunteers, using a placebo-controlled, double-blind, cross-over design. Compared to placebo, the 1.0 mg dose of melatonin significantly increased Actual Sleep Time, Sleep Efficiency, non-REM Sleep and REM Sleep Latency. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that low dose melatonin has hypnotic effects in humans. It is possible that administered melatonin may have a role to play in the treatment of sleep disorders.

Key words

Melatonin Sleep 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. E. J. Attenburrow
    • 1
  • P. J. Cowen
    • 1
  • A. L. Sharpley
    • 1
  1. 1.Psychopharmacology Research UnitUniversity Department of Psychiatry, Littlemore HospitalOxfordUK

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