Melatonin was found to be as effective as zolpidem for treating hospital-related insomnia, according to findings from a recently published analysis. 

In this single-center, prospective, cross-sectional cohort study, the authors aimed to compare the efficacy of zolpidem to melatonin in the treatment of hospital-related insomnia. Patients included in the study were ≥18 years old, received melatonin or zolpidem as a sleep aid the night prior to completing a sleep assessment questionnaire, had no acute psychological issues, and had no history of substance abuse. 

The primary endpoint of the study was the score obtained from the sleep effectiveness domain in the Verran and Snyder-Halpem (VSH) sleep scale with responses. Secondary endpoints included scores obtained from the sleep disturbance and sleep supplementation domains in the VSH as well as adverse drug events. 

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A total of 100 patients met the inclusion criteria. Results of the study showed sleep effectiveness, sleep disturbance, and sleep supplementation to be similar for patients who received melatonin compared with those who received zolpidem. Additionally, both sleep aids were found to be generally well tolerated, with the only reported adverse effects being grogginess and headaches.

Although additional trials are needed to confirm these results, the study authors concluded that “melatonin may be a more favorable option as it is not associated with serious adverse drug effects.”

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