Aims to investigate whether melatonin supplement improves sleep and quality of life.
Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland which is located at the base of the brain and plays a major role in the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle. In people with complete quadriplegia, melatonin secretion does not occur and sleep patterns are usually disturbed. This strongly suggests that the absence of melatonin results in disturbed sleep patterns in these people.
There is evidence that melatonin supplementation can improve sleep in blind people by reducing sleep onset time, improving sleep maintenance and increasing REM sleep. Melatonin is expected to similarly improve sleep function and quality of life in people with quadriplegia.
The SHiQ Melatonin project will examine melatonin secretion and determine the effect that 3mg melatonin supplement has on sleep, quality of life and autonomic problems (including excessive sweating, unstable heart rate and abnormal fluctuations in blood pressure levels) in people with complete quadriplegia.
Outcomes from this project have the potential to significantly improve sleep and quality of life through simple and effective treatment.