Melatonin Skin Patch Improves Sleep
Jet lagged travelers might be reaching for more than the snooze button soon, after Biotek Inc. discovered that a melatonin skin patch helped study participants maintain sleep during daytime hours. A study published in Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics reports that the patch may be more effective than the pill variety.
A melatonin skin patch is currently under development. In the initial study, researchers gave eight people a patch containing either 2.1 milligrams of melatonin or no drug. Sleep performance and melatonin levels in the blood were then measured.
Those who were treated with the active patch had levels of melatonin in their blood that resembled normal nighttime levels, said the lead author of the study, Daniel Aeschbach. He also pointed out that the peak concentrations of melatonin occurred during the early evening hours, typically the end of bed rest. â€œWe knowâ€”and shift workers knowâ€”that this is a time during which it is particularly difficult to remain asleep,â€ Aeschbach said.
Oral melatonin tends to wear off more quickly, while the melatonin in the pill tends to last longer, researchers said.