Use of Melatonin in the Treatment of Phase Shift and Sleep Disorders

  • Debra J. Skene
  • Steven W. Lockley
  • Josephine Arendt

Abstract

When administered to humans the pineal hormone melatonin can phase shift a number of circadian rhythms. This property has prompted the investigation of exogenous melatonin in sleep disorders known to have an underlying chronophysiological basis (i.e. circadian rhythm sleep disorders). Both in field and simulated studies of jet lag and shift work suitably timed melatonin improved sleep and, in some cases, hastened readaptation of the circadian rhythms following the phase shift. Melatonin treatment has also been evaluated in the circadian sleep disorders: delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS) and non-24-hour sleep wake disorder. Compared with placebo, melatonin advanced the sleep period in subjects with DSPS. Melatonin also improved a number of sleep parameters in blind subjects suffering from non-24-hour sleep wake disorder.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Aldhous, M.E. and Arendt, J., 1993, Assessment of melatonin rhythms and the sleep-wake cycle in blind subjects, Adv. Pineal Res. 5:307–309.Google Scholar
  2. Arendt, J., 1995, Melatonin and the Mammalian Pineal Gland, Chapman and Hall, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  3. Arendt, J., Borbely, A.A., Franey, C., and Wright, J., 1984, The effects of chronic, small doses of melatonin given in the late afternoon on fatigue in man: a preliminary study, Neurosci. Letts. 45:317–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Arendt, J., Aldhous, M., and Marks, V., 1986, Alleviation of jet lag by melatonin: preliminary results of controlled double blind trial, Brit. Med. J. 292:1170.Google Scholar
  5. Arendt, J., Aldhous, M., English, J., Marks, V., and J.H. Arendt, J.H., 1987, Some effects of jet lag and their alleviation by melatonin, Ergonomics 30:1379–1393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Arendt, J., Aldhous, M., and Wright, J., 1988, Synchronisation of a disturbed sleep-wake cycle in a blind man by melatonin treatment, Lancet 339:772–773.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Arendt, J., Skene, D.J., Middleton, B., Lockley, S.W., and Deacon, S., 1997, Efficacy of melatonin treatment in jet lag, shift work, and blindness, J. Biol. Rhythms, 12:604–617.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Dahlitz, M., Alvarez, B., Vignau, J., English, J., Arendt, J., and Parkes, J.D., 1991, Delayed sleep phase syndrome esponse to melatonin, Lancet 337:1121–1124.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Deacon, S. and Arendt, J., 1995, Melatonin-induced temperature suppression and its acute phase-shifting effects correlate in a dose-dependent manner in humans, Brain Res. 688:77–85.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Deacon, S. and Arendt, J., 1996a, Adapting to phase shifts, I. An experimental model for jet lag and shift work, Physiol. Behav. 59:665–673.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Deacon, S. and Arendt, J., 1996b, Adapting to phase shifts, I. Effects of melatonin and conflicting light treatment, Physiol. Behav. 59:675–682.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Deacon, S.J., English, J., and Arendt, J., 1994, Acute phase-shifting effects of melatonin associated with suppression of core body temperature in humans, Neurosci. Lett. 178:32–34.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Deacon, S., Skene, D., and Arendt, J., 1996, Use of light and/or melatonin in adaptation to phase shifts, in: Biologic Effects of Light 1995, (M.F. Holick and E.G. Jung E.G., eds.), pp. 398–405, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin.Google Scholar
  14. Folkard, S., Arendt, J., Aldhous, M., and Kennett, H., 1990, Melatonin stabilises sleep onset time in a blind man without entrainment of cortisol or temperature rhythms, Neurosci. Lett. 1133:193–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Folkard, S., Arendt, J., and Clark, M., 1993, Can melatonin improve shift workers tolerance of the night shift? Some preliminary findings, Chronobiol. Int. 10:315–320.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. International Classification of Sleep Disorders: Diagnostic and Coding Manual. Diagnostic Classification Steering Committee, Thorpy, M.J. (ed.), 1990, Allen Press Inc., Lawrence, Kansas.Google Scholar
  17. Lewy, A.J. and Sack, R.L., 1997, Exogenous melatonin’s phase shifting effects on the endogenous melatonin profile in sighted humans: A brief review and critique of the literature, J. Biol. Rhythms 12:588–594.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lewy, A.J., Ahmed, S., Jackson, J.M.L., and Sack, R.L., 1992, Melatonin shifts human circadian rhythms according to a phase-response curve, Chronobiol. Int. 9:380–392.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lockley, S.W., Skene, D.J., Tabandeh, H., Bird, A.C., Defrance, R., and Arendt, J., 1997a, Relationship between napping and melatonin in the blind. J. Biol. Rhythms 12:16–25.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lockley, S.W., Skene, D.J., Arendt, J., Tabandeh, H., Bird, A.C., and Defrance, R., 1997b, Relationship between melatonin rhythms and visual loss in the blind, J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 82:3763–3770.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lockley, S.W., Skene, D.J., and Arendt, J., 1998, Changes in sleep in relation to circadian phase in the blind, in: Biological Clocks: Mechanisms and Applications, (Y. Touitou, ed.), pp. 247–252, Elsevier Science, Amsterdam.Google Scholar
  22. Middleton, B.A., Stone, B.M., and Arendt, J., 1996, Melatonin and fragmented sleep patterns, Lancet 348:551–552.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Middleton, B., Arendt, J., and Stone, B.M., 1997, Complex effects of melatonin on human circadian rhythms in constant dim light, J. Biol. Rhythms 12:467–477.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Spitzer, R.L., Terman, M., Malt, U., Singer, F., Terman, J.S., Williams, J.B.W., and Lewy, A.J., 1997, Failure of melatonin to affect jet lag in a randomised double blind trial. Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms 9: abstract.Google Scholar
  25. Wright, I, Aldhous, M., Franey, C., English, J., and Arendt, J., 1986, The effects of exogenous melatonin on endocrine function in man, Clin. Endocrinol. 24:375–382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Zaidan, R., Geoffriau, M., Brun, J., Taillard, J., Bureau, C., Chazot, G., and Claustrat, B., 1994, Melatonin is able to influence its secretion in humans: description of a phase-response curve, Neuroendocrinology 60:105–112.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Debra J. Skene
    • 1
  • Steven W. Lockley
    • 1
  • Josephine Arendt
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of SurreyGuildford, SurreyUK

Personalised recommendations