The effect of melatonin on normal sleep

Neuropsychopharmacology. 1987 Dec;1(1):41-4. doi: 10.1016/0893-133x(87)90008-x.


We examined the effect of 1-mg and 5-mg oral dosages of melatonin on the electroencephalogram-recorded sleep of ten normal subjects in a randomized, double-blind design. Although high dosages of melatonin have previously been reported to be a sedative and to have behavioral effects, we could not find any change in onset or duration of sleep, or any effect on mood or alertness the following day using these low dosages. An increase in rapid eye movement (REM) latency was noted at the 5-mg dose, but no other parameter of REM sleep was changed.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Electroencephalography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Melatonin / pharmacology*
  • Placebos
  • Reference Values
  • Sleep / drug effects*
  • Sleep, REM / drug effects


  • Placebos
  • Melatonin