aking a pill containing melatonin, a natural hormone that regulates sleep, at bedtime may enhance the drop in blood pressure that occurs at night, Italian investigators report, thereby protecting the heart from damage.
The normal decline in blood pressure at night is related to the rise of melatonin levels in the body, Dr. Angelo Cagnacci, from Policlinico di Modena, and colleagues note. Therefore, treatment with melatonin might be expected to lower blood pressure further.
melatonin treatment decreased nighttime blood pressure. As a result, the day-night blood pressure difference was more pronounced during melatonin use. The drug had no effect on daytime blood pressure or on heart rate.
This matters to me because I have sleep apnea and my father, who also does, didn’t know it and lost sight in one eye due to multiple retina detachments caused by raised blood pressure at night due to the body trying to keep from killing itself.
(Sleep apnea makes you close off your breathing apparatus. Your body shoots your blood pressure and your adrenaline up to wake you up. This has other bad side effects but has the good side effect of keeping you awake. That whole “dying in your sleep” thing is not so good, after all.)