Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Pineal Res. 2001 Nov;31(4):326-32.

Acute effects of low doses of melatonin on the sleep of young healthy subjects.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychobiology, Federal University of São Paulo, Escola Paulista de Medicina, São Paulo, Brazil.


This study was undertaken to evaluate the acute effects of single low doses of melatonin given to healthy volunteers in the evening. Six healthy male volunteers (age range 22-24 years) participated in this study, after signing an informed consent form. They received in a double-blind fashion placebo or 0.3 or 1.0 mg melatonin at three fixed times: 18:00, 20:00, and 21:00 hr. Polysomnographic recordings began immediately thereafter, with their being allowed to sleep. Prior to each experimental session and in the following morning, subjects completed a sleep quality questionnaire, the Profile of Mood States, the Stanford Sleepiness Scale, and underwent a visual reaction test. Significant decrease on sleep latencies was found following melatonin treatment at 18:00 and 20:00 hr. In addition, melatonin tended to improve sleep efficiency and to reduce intermittent wakefulness. However, at 21:00 hr, 0.3 mg melatonin increased latency to sleep onset and 1.0 mg melatonin had no effect on sleep variables. Furthermore, melatonin given at different times did not alter subjective sleepiness, mood, and reaction time in the following morning. The results from the present study support the notion that administration of low doses of melatonin, mimicking the nocturnal physiological concentration of this hormone may exert immediate sleep-inducing effects.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Support Center