Circadin is a prolonged-release melatonin and was found in Scottish trials to be an effective insomnia treatment.
It's thought that Circadian (the only melatonin based insomnia drug approved in the UK) may reduce the higher risk side-effects and it is particularly recommended for those over the age of 55 who are struggling to maintain a regular sleep pattern.
Part of the problem here may be down to patient expectation.
Typically, insomnia sufferers visit their doctor and expect (and sometimes demand) a quick, immediate fix.
As a result, they're typically prescribed the fast-acting (and higher risk) sleeping pills - even though they aren't always effective and don't actually restore deep, natural sleep.
The fact is, you need to take melatonin for about 3 weeks before it will begin to help. Lifestyle changes (such as practicing good sleep hygiene and cognitive behavioral therapy) are also recommended, in conjunction with the melatonin.
Furthermore, many doctors don't understand how melatonin works - so they're reluctant to recommend it.
Another issue at play is the fact that whilst melatonin is cheap, other sleeping pills are often far cheaper.
It's time to look past the quick
fixes artificial fixes and look for longer-term, more effective and permanent insomnia treatments.
Source: The Scotsman
Last updated: December 10, 2013