Exogenous melatonin as a treatment for secondary sleep disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Tian Li, Shuai Jiang, Mengzhen Han, Zhi Yang, Jianjun Lv, Chao Deng, Russel J. Reiter, Yang Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Melatonin is a physiological indoleamine involved in circadian rhythm regulation and it is currently used for secondary sleep disorders supported by empirical evidence. A small amount of evidence and some controversial results have been obtained in some randomized controlled trials (RCT). The objective of this meta-analysis is to determine the efficacy of exogenous melatonin versus placebo in managing secondary sleep disorders. Literature retrieval of eligible RCT was performed in 5 databases (PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library, ClinicalTrials.gov, and Web of Science). In total, 7 studies of 205 patients were included. Pooled data demonstrate that exogenous melatonin lowers sleep onset latency and increases total sleep time, whereas it has little if any effect on sleep efficiency. Although, the efficacy of melatonin still requires further confirmation, this meta-analysis clearly supports the use of melatonin as a management for patients with secondary sleep disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-28
Number of pages7
JournalFrontiers in Neuroendocrinology
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Melatonin
  • Meta-analysis
  • Secondary sleep disorders
  • Sleep efficiency
  • Sleep onset latency
  • Total sleep time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems


Dive into the research topics of 'Exogenous melatonin as a treatment for secondary sleep disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this