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J Korean Sleep Res Soc. 2005;2(1):10-15.         doi: https://doi.org/10.13078/jksrs.05002
Melatonin and Human Sleep
Jee Hyun Kim, and Hyang Woon Lee
Department of Neurology, Ewha Medical Center, College of Medicine, Ewha Womans University
Corresponding Author: Jee Hyun Kim ,Tel: 02-2650-2763, Fax: 02-2650-2652, Email: fever26@paran.com
Received: 9 April 2005;  Accepted: 15 May 2005.
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ABSTRACT
Melatonin is a hormone produced in pineal gland. It has a circadian rhythm, which is driven by the suprachiasmatic nucleus. High levels of melatonin are present in the bloodstream during the normal time of sleep at night and low levels are present during the waking day. Bright light suppresses the secretion of melatonin. It is thought of as a neuroendocrine transducer of the light-dark cycle and may have a role in the biologic regulation of sleep and circadian rhythm. Many experiments and clinical trials of exogeneous melatonin suggest it has some effects for sleep promotion and choronobiotic effect (phase-shifting effect), especially in the person with decreased serum melatonin level and at that time when physiologically low serum level. Recently, melatonin is used for treatment of phase advancement in the patients with delayed sleep phase syndrome, entrainment of free-running circadian rhythm of totally blinded person, shift workers with sleep problems and overcoming jet lag. This article reviews recent knowledge of the function and clinical usefulness of melatonin.
Keywords: Melatonin | Pineal gland | Circadian rhythm | Sleep
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