News and Research: Melatonin study for middle-aged primary insomnia

Study: Efficacy of melatonin for sleep disturbance in middle-aged primary insomnia: A double-blind, randomised clinical trial Journal of Sleep Medicine, Oct 17, 2020

Overview of the study:
This new clinical trial evaluated the effectiveness of a 3 mg fast-release melatonin supplement in middle-aged people with insomnia.  The results showed that the participants in the melatonin group (51 people) had a significant decrease in early waking insomnia (that dreaded waking up at 4 am type of insomnia).  The melatonin group also had a decrease in the amount of time spent in light sleep (N2 sleep).  None of the other parameters differed from the control group.

Why I found this interesting:
A lot of trials using melatonin show little effect on ‘sleep’, but the researchers are often looking at the time it takes to fall asleep. This study is interesting in that it showed that  melatonin (3 mg) helped people to stay asleep longer in the mornings instead of early wake time insomnia.  I would love to see the same type of study using a 3 mg timed-release melatonin supplement…

There is a lot more to melatonin as a hormone and signaling molecule than just sleep benefits. Check out the full article on melatonin including genetic variants that affect it.