We've already written about the pros and cons of melatonin as an insomnia treatment. If your sleep disruption is due to hypertension or another condition for which you're being prescribed beta blockers, we have more information about melatonin supplements to share with you today.
Previous research has found that beta blockers at a typical dose of 50mg can substantially reduce evening production of melatonin and a 100mg dose increases the time spent awake during the night. This affects not only those with hypertension, but those taking beta blockers for other conditions such as angina, arrhythmia, migraines and even post-traumatic stress disorder.
A recent study presented at SLEEP 2011 found that the addition of melatonin can improve sleep quality in those taking beta blockers.
The study looked at 15 hypertensive patients who were being treated with atenolol or metoprolol. Each participant was required to avoid alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, and other drugs for two weeks before and during the study. Some participants were given a placebo and others a 2.5mg dose of melatonin an hour before bedtime for 3-4 weeks.
Those treated with the melatonin slept for an additional 37 minutes and saw an 8% improvement in sleep efficiency compared to the placebo group. In a previous study, the authors found that 2.5mg of melatonin can improve sleep even in unmedicated hypertensive men.
This research could help not only those taking beta blockers, but also those who have reduced melatonin production for other reasons (such as a spinal cord injury).
Just remember not to change your medication regimen without talking to your doctor first.
Source: Medscape News
Last updated: September 1, 2011