Palmitoylethanolamide for sleep disturbance. A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled interventional study.
Background: Sleep is essential for wellbeing, yet sleep disturbance is a common problem linked to a wide range of health conditions. Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is an endogenous fatty acid amide proposed to promote better sleep via potential interaction with the endocannabinoid system.
Methods: This double-blind, randomised study on 103 adults compared the efficacy and tolerability of 8 weeks of daily supplemented PEA formulation (350 mg Levagen + ®) to a placebo. Sleep quality and quantity were measured using wrist actigraphy, a sleep diary and questionnaires.
Results: At week 8, PEA supplementation reduced sleep onset latency, time to feel completely awake and improved cognition on waking. After 8 weeks, both groups improved their sleep quality and quantity scores similarly. There was no difference between groups at baseline or week 8 for sleep quantity or quality as measured from actigraphy or sleep diaries.
Conclusion: These findings support PEA as a potential sleeping aid capable of reducing sleep onset time and improving cognition on waking.