Melatonin supplements may improve sleep in hypertension patients who are on beta-blockers.
Scientists found that three weeks of melatonin use significantly improved their sleep quality and helped them stay asleep compared with a placebo.
Patients taking melatonin increased total sleep time by 37 minutes. They also spent less time awake in bed, and fell asleep quicker.
The authors of the study, published in the journal SLEEP observed that the melatonin improved sleep tolerence without the common side effects of drug tolerance or rebound insomnia.
Beta-blockers are drugs that affect the body’s response to certain nerve impulses and are sometimes used in hypertension patients. These medications suppress endogenous nighttime melatonin secretion, which may explain a reported side effect of insomnia.
Melatonin is effective in resetting the body's circadian rhythms, and is used frequently for jet lag. Findings are mixed on whether melatonin helps improve sleep in otherwise healthy patients with insomnia.
If you have insomnia and are not on a beta-blocker, there are other ways you can tackle your insomnia. These include cognitive behavioral therapy and medications. The AASM advises you to talk to your doctor before taking melatonin or any medication. Your doctor may refer you a sleep medicine physician at an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center. Visit www.sleepcenters.org to find an AASM-accredited sleep center near you.