Melatonin in sleep disorders and jet-lag.

: In elderly insomniacs, melatonin treatment decreased sleep latency and increased sleep efficiency. This is particularly marked in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. Melatonin is effective to reduce significantly benzodiazepine use. In addition, melatonin administration synchronizes the sleep-wake cycle in blind people and in individuals suffering from delayed sleep phase syndrome or jet lag. Urinary levels of 6-sulphatoxymelatonin decrease with age and in chronic diseases like AD or coronary heart disease. The effect of melatonin on sleep is probably the consequence of increasing sleep propensity (by inducing a fall in body temperature) and of a synchronizing effect on the circadian clock (chronobiotic effect).