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Sleep All Day!

Rating

3 Star

Sleep All Day!

Our Review Summary

This article does a good job of summarizing the results of recent small study that sheds some light on what melatonin can and can not do in terms of aiding sleep. This article included a good description of the trial’s important findings about melatonin’s effects on daytime sleep and its usefulness for those needing to shift their sleeping hours to daytime.

It would have been helpful to remind readers that melatonin is sold as a dietary supplement and as such, the FDA neither approves the claims made nor monitors the content of the product.

The story didn’t mention costs of melatonin. It also didn’t mention potential harms from the use of melatonin. (It may be problematic for those taking warfarin or individuals with epilepsy.)

The article mentioned that melatonin was as effective as the prescription medications Ambien or Lunesta.

The only sources of information appear to be related to the single study mentioned and the lead author of the paper on that study. It would have been better to include input from other sleep scientists unrelated to the study.

Criteria

Does the story adequately discuss the costs of the intervention?

Not Satisfactory

Though melatonin is readily available, no estimates for the cost of treatment were provided.

Does the story adequately quantify the benefits of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Satisfactory

The benefit of treatment, an extra half-hour of sleep compared with control subjects in a trial, was presented. Kudos for clearly laying out that the gain in sleep time was not helpful for all insomnia – only that from change in time zone or shift work.

Does the story adequately explain/quantify the harms of the intervention?

Not Satisfactory

No potential harms from the use of melatonin were mentioned. (It may be problematic for those taking warfarin or individuals with epilepsy.)

Does the story seem to grasp the quality of the evidence?

Satisfactory

This article gave a clear summary of the results from a recent double-blind placebo controlled trial. However, although it stated that the study was rigorous and well designed, it failed to explain what was meant by ‘rigorous and well designed’. Nonetheless, we’ll give a satisfactory score for this criterion.

Does the story commit disease-mongering?

Satisfactory

This article did not disease monger or make exaggerated claims for melatonin.

Does the story use independent sources and identify conflicts of interest?

Not Satisfactory

The only sources of information appear to be related to the single study mentioned and the lead author of the paper on that study.

Does the story compare the new approach with existing alternatives?

Satisfactory

The article mentioned that melatonin was as effective as the prescription medications Ambien or Lunesta.

Does the story establish the availability of the treatment/test/product/procedure?

Not Satisfactory

The article did not mention that melatonin is sold as a dietary supplement and as such, the FDA neither approves the claims made nor monitors the content of the product.

Does the story establish the true novelty of the approach?

Satisfactory

The article reports on some new evidence for what melatonin can and can’t do in terms of sleep. The story did not present melatonin as a novel treatment but rather that the results of a recent study provided some new insight about its use.

Does the story appear to rely solely or largely on a news release?

Satisfactory

Does not appear to be based solely or largely on a press release.

Total Score: 6 of 10 Satisfactory

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