Melatonin Improves Sleep in Asthma A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study


Francineide L. Campos, Francisco P. da Silva-Junior, Veralice M. S. de Bruin, and Pedro F. C. de Bruin



Am J Respir Crit Care Med Vol 170., 2004 



Disturbed sleep is common in asthma. Melatonin has sleep-inducing activity and reportedly affects smooth muscle tone and inflammation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of melatonin on sleep in patients with mild and moderate asthma. This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Twenty-two consecutive women with asthma were randomized to receive melatonin 3 mg (n = 12) or placebo (n = 10) for 4 weeks. Sleep quality and daytime somnolence were assessed by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, respectively. Pulmonary function was assessed by spirometry. Use of relief medication, asthma symptoms and morning/evening peak expiratory flow rate were recorded daily. Melatonin treatment significantly improved subjective sleep quality, as compared with placebo (p = 0.04). No significant difference in asthma symptoms, use of relief medication and daily peak expiratory flow rate was found between groups. We conclude that melatonin can improve sleep in patients with asthma. Further studies looking into long-term effects of melatonin on airway inflammation and bronchial hyperresponsiveness are needed before melatonin can be recommended in patients with asthma.



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