Melatonin for insomnia in Parkinson's disease

This study has now completed recruitment and is not taking on any new participants.

Parkinson's Disease

Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive, degenerative neurological condition affecting a dopamine system of the brain, resulting in movement disorders and other symptoms.  It is Australia’s second commonest neurological disease and is growing in numbers at a rate of 17% per year over the last six years.

Parkinson's Disease and sleep

Approximately two thirds of people with Parkinson’s Disease experience one or more sleep-related symptoms, with insomnia being the most common. The neurodegenerative process in the brain, disturbances of the sleep-wake cycle, the effect of symptoms of Parkinson's Disease on sleep, and having another sleep disorder such as restless legs syndrome, all contribute to sleep disturbances in people with Parkinson's Disease.

Sleep disorders often cause major discomfort in Parkinson’s Disease. Not only is the person’s health and quality of life affected, but so are their family members’, especially if they are also carers.  And we have little evidence to suggest that current practices work for long-term treatment of sleep-related problems in people with Parkinson’s Disease. Despite the recognised impact of sleep disturbance in Parkinson’s Disease, there have been few studies in this area.


Melatonin is a hormone released by the pineal gland which regulates the sleep-wake cycle, temperature regulation, reproductive rhythm, and immune function. Melatonin regulates the sleep-wake cycle by promoting the desire to sleep at night. Studies in other conditions show that melatonin can increase sleep efficiency, decrease night-time awakenings, and may be particularly effective to help people get to sleep.

Register for the study

Please note that all patients will require a referral from their doctor (GP or neurologist) to participate, this can be organised through us if required. 


General email: (Please send your contact mobile number and/or landline number and your address to guarantee that we can contact you)

Study Team contacts

Office phone: 07 3346 5065 or 07 3346 5025

General email for research team at The University of Queensland: