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Saffron Extract May Help Improve Sleep Quality

The hormone melatonin plays a role in the natural sleep-wake cycle. Natural levels of melatonin in the blood are highest at night. A new study has found that a standardized saffron extract may help improve sleep quality and increase natural levels of melatonin.

Participants in the study included 120 adults with self-reported sleep quality issues. They were given 14 mg of standardized saffron extract, 28 mg of standardized saffron extract, or a placebo daily one hour before going to sleep. The researchers used the Pittsburgh Sleep Diary, the Insomnia Symptom Questionnaire, the Profile of Mood States, the Restorative Sleep Questionnaire, and the Functional Outcomes of Sleep Questionnaire to evaluate sleep quality. They also measured evening salivary melatonin concentrations.

Participants in the saffron group saw greater improvements in sleep quality, insomnia, and mood after awakening then the placebo group. They also saw increases in evening melatonin concentrations.

The study was conducted by researchers from Murdoch University. It was published online ahead of print on August 11, 2021, in the journal Sleep Medicine.

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