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Sleep Sci. 2017 Jan-Mar;10(1):11-18. doi: 10.5935/1984-0063.20170003.

Sleep, Melatonin, and the Menopausal Transition: What Are the Links?

Author information

Center for Healthful Behavior Change, New York University School of Medicine, New York, USA.
Somnogen Canada Inc., College Street, Toronto, ON M6H 1C5, CANADA.
Department of Psychiatry & Sleep Clinic, Himalayan Institute of Medical Sciences, Swami Ram Nagar, Jolly Grant, Dehradun-248016, INDIA.
Circadian Rhythms and Sleep Research Lab, Department of Neurology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.
Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, 11203 Brooklyn, NY, USA.
Johann Friedrich Blumenbach Institute of Zoology and Anthropology, University of Göttingen, D-37073 Göttingen, Germany.
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical Center, Jerusalem, Israel.


The pineal hormone Melatonin plays an important role in the regulation of the circadian sleep/wake cycle, mood, and perhaps immune functions, carcinogensis and reproduction. The human circadian rhythm of melatonin release from the pineal gland is tightly synchronized with the habitual hours of sleep. Peri- and postmenopausal women often complain of difficulties initiating and/or maintaining sleep, with frequent nocturnal and early morning awakenings. In this review we discuss the pathophysiology of melatonin function as it relates to sleep disorders in menopausal women, highlighting the potential use of exogenous melatonin during the menopausal transition and beyond.


Aging; Circadian rhythm; Gender; Hormones; Melatonin; Menopause; Sleep

Conflict of interest statement

Disclosure Statement The authors have read the journal's policy and have the following potential conflicts: This study was not an industry-supported study. S.R. Pandi-Perumal is a stockholder and the President and Chief Executive Officer of Somnogen Canada Inc., a Canadian Corporation. This does not alter his adherence to all the journal policies. He declares that he has no competing interests that might be perceived to influence the content of this article. All remaining authors declare that they have no proprietary, financial, professional, nor any other personal interest of any nature or kind in any product or services and/or company that could be construed or considered to be a potential conflict of interest that might have influenced the views expressed in this manuscript.

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