The hormone that regulates our sleep-wake cycle may have a place in the fight against COVID-19.

A recent study is offering hopeful news in the fight against the COVID-19 virus. Led by Cleveland Clinic, research determined that melatonin, the hormone responsible for people's sleep cycle, could be a possible treatment. The clinic had collected patient data and analyzed it, finding that this hormone was in correlation with an almost 30% unlikelihood of testing positive for the virus. The clinic emphasized that factors, including race, age, and other diseases in the patients, were adjusted in determining this number.

Feixiong Cheng, an assistant staff at the Cleveland Clinic's Genomic Medicine Institute, served as the study's lead author.

“It is very important to note these findings do not suggest people should start to take melatonin without consulting their physician," Cheng stated. "...Large-scale observational studies and randomized controlled trials are critical to validate the clinical benefit of melatonin for patients with COVID-19, but we are excited about the associations put forth in this study and the opportunity to further explore them.”

Numerous studies have been done to figure out a possible vaccine or cure for COVID-19. While some have been promising, none have equated to success. Although certain repurposed drugs approved by the FDA have helped therapeutically to treat COVID-19, melatonin is proving to be unique option, according to the studies' results, which were published in PLOS Biology.

According to the study's abstract:

"We identified that melatonin usage (odds ratio [OR] = 0.72, 95% CI 0.56–0.91) is significantly associated with a 28% reduced likelihood of a positive laboratory test result for SARS-CoV-2 confirmed by reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction assay. Using a PS matching user active comparator design, we determined that melatonin usage was associated with a reduced likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 positive test result compared to use of angiotensin II receptor blockers (OR = 0.70, 95% CI 0.54–0.92) or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (OR = 0.69, 95% CI 0.52–0.90). Importantly, melatonin usage (OR = 0.48, 95% CI 0.31–0.75) is associated with a 52% reduced likelihood of a positive laboratory test result for SARS-CoV-2 in African Americans after adjusting for age, sex, race, smoking history, and various disease comorbidities using PS matching. In summary, this study presents an integrative network medicine platform for predicting disease manifestations associated with COVID-19 and identifying melatonin for potential prevention and treatment of COVID-19."

Melatonin is best known as a hormone that controls the sleep-wake cycle in humans. It can be ingested as a supplement, though, to help treat insomnia, even though studies on this determination are still unclear.


Overall, the Cleveland Clinic researched clinical manifestations and pathologies that were similar between COVID-19 and other diseases, including autoimmune, cardiovasular, neurological, and malignant cancer. The results determined that the proximity between host proteins in certain diseases were connected with SARS-CoV-2 proteins. Different repurposed drugs, melatonin especially, were considered key after their findings.

Dr. Cheng expanded on the study, saying, “This signals to us, then that a drug already approved to treat these respiratory conditions may have some utility in also treating COVID-19 by acting on those shared biological targets."

He added that “Recent studies suggest that COVID-19 is a systematic disease impacting multiple cell types, tissues, and organs, so knowledge of the complex interplays between the virus and other diseases is key to understanding COVID-19-related complications and identifying repurposable drugs ... Our study provides a powerful, integrative network medicine strategy to predict disease manifestations associated with COVID-19 and facilitate the search for an effective treatment.”

What do you think of this recent study? Do you take melatonin supplements? Let us know in the comments!