Objective: Aging, sleep, and breast cancer are important concerns of postmenopausal women. There now is evidence that melatonin, the hormone secreted by the pineal gland, may have a role in the regulation of various human biological processes including sleep, tumor growth, and perhaps aging. The current knowledge concerning these questions is briefly and critically reviewed.
Conclusions: Melatonin might be implicated in menopause-associated processes such as insomnia, breast cancer, and general aging. Its beneficial effect on sleep has been demonstrated in controlled clinical trials, however, "melatonin replacement therapy" for all postmenopausal women is currently unjustified.
(C)1998The North American Menopause Society