Melatonin-Responsive Complex Nocturnal Visual Hallucinations

J Clin Sleep Med. 2018 Apr 15;14(4):687-691. doi: 10.5664/jcsm.7074.


Complex nocturnal visual hallucinations are vivid, dramatic, intricate visual hallucinations occurring during sleep onset or awakenings at night, generally lasting for a few minutes at most and disappearing with increased levels of light. They may occur in a number of neurological conditions, as well as in normal individuals. The optimal treatment for this condition remains unclear. We describe three patients with complex nocturnal visual hallucinations in whom melatonin brought about a dramatic improvement in symptoms. Our report suggests that melatonin may be a safe, effective treatment for this rare but often distressing and anxiety-provoking condition.

Keywords: complex nocturnal visual hallucinations; hallucinations; melatonin; parasomnias.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Hallucinations / drug therapy*
  • Hallucinations / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Melatonin / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Parasomnias / drug therapy
  • Parasomnias / physiopathology
  • Polysomnography


  • Melatonin