(NEW YORK) — Researchers say that workers who take popular sleep medications after working a night shift may not be receiving the benefits they hope for.
According to a Cochrane Review analysis of 4,651 past studies, melatonin only increased the average length of sleep time after a night shift by approximately 24 minutes. Additionally, the extra sleep workers gained was often low-quality sleep.
Other drugs, meant to help improve a worker’s level of alertness when they are awake, including armodafinil and modafinil, were discovered to be slightly more effective than a placebo in decreasing sleepiness. However, researchers say, the effects of those drugs did not last an entire shift — and side effects for use of both drugs get worse with higher doses.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Robert Mclean, CNN Newswire
Carina Storrs Special to CNN
Debra Goldschmidt and Nadia Kounang, CNN
Tamara Vaifanua, KSTU