Patients with asthma can improve sleep with the hormone melatonin. Research hasshown that melatonin plays a key role in the sleep cycle. The Brazilian study included 22women with mild-to-moderate asthma. For the study, the participants were divided into 2groups. One group (n = 12) took melatonin for 4 weeks while the other group (n = 10) tooka placebo.
Using the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, the results of the study showed that the womenin the melatonin group had improved sleep quality, compared with those in the placebogroup. Neither group exhibited changes in asthma symptoms, in daily peak expiratory flowrate, or in their use of asthma medication. Also, no side effects were reported by the melatoningroup, the researchers reported in the American Journal of Respiratory and CriticalCare Medicine (November 2004). The researchers concluded, however, that additional studiesare required to examine the long-term effects of the hormone before it is recommendedfor all asthma patients.