Melatonin is a hormone produced by your brain to control your sleep-wake cycle. This hormone can also be made synthetically and can be used as a dietary supplement to help you fall asleep.
Melatonin supplements come in pill, capsule and liquid forms, which can effectively help control the sleep cycle.
Melatonin is also naturally present in fruits such as tomatoes, almonds and oranges, but the content is very small. Although studies have shown that melatonin can be effective in treating people with sleep problems, it may not be suitable for everyone.
The role of melatonin in the body
The role of melatonin in our body is to regulate our wake and sleep cycles. Melatonin supplements are believed to mimic the effects of natural hormones and help improve sleep.
Your natural melatonin levels start to rise at night. Then it peaks in the evening and decreases in the morning. The season of the year may also affect your melatonin levels. In winter, your brain may produce melatonin later or earlier than usual.
The production of melatonin peaks at night and decreases during the day at dawn. This is because when it gets dark, our optic nerve sends a signal to the pineal gland in the brain to produce melatonin.
Excessive exposure to strong light and blue light on the screen can disrupt the production of this melatonin and disrupt your sleep patterns. Other factors that may disrupt melatonin production include:
- jet lag
- Do not exercise regularly
- Delayed sleep-wake phase disorder
- Night work
Melatonin supplements are usually recommended for those who have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at night. Usually recommended for people who deal with the following problems.
Melatonin is most commonly used by people with insomnia. However, with regard to its effectiveness in treating this disease, the results have been mixed.
Although some people with chronic insomnia report no improvement after using melatonin, others say it makes them sleep longer and sleep better. Synthetic hormones have been proven to be more effective in treating insomnia in the elderly than in the young.of
Sleep disorders in children
Melatonin can help children who have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at night. This supplement can help children fall asleep faster and increase their sleep time.
Children with autism and Asperger’s syndrome often suffer from sleep disorders. Many children with these diseases report that they cannot fall asleep or sleep through the night.
People who travel across time zones often experience jet lag. Melatonin can be very effective in reducing or preventing jet lag.
It is generally recommended for people flying over five or more time zones, especially when flying eastward. However, if they often encounter jet lag during these trips, it can also be recommended for people flying over 2 to 4 different time zones.
Non-24-hour sleep arousal disorder
Non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder is a disorder that causes people to lose their sleep cycle. Their sleep and waking time tend to be getting late every day, and the longer they stay untreated.
People with impaired vision most often report this condition, but people with normal vision may also suffer from it. Melatonin is a potential treatment for this disease, especially for blind people.of
The sleep patterns of night shift workers are often disrupted, which can lead to poor sleep quality. Melatonin helps to improve the duration and quality of sleep.
It is generally recommended that night shift workers take melatonin at the end of their shift or a few hours before bedtime. If you are going to drive or operate heavy machinery, you should not take this supplement.
Effects of daily use of melatonin
Studies have shown that serious adverse effects and toxicity of melatonin are relatively rare.However, longer-term human studies are needed to finally prove this.
This means that daily use of melatonin is relatively safe. However, it is recommended to perform this operation only for a short period of time. Although no research has pointed out the toxicity of long-term use of melatonin, if too high doses are taken, side effects may occur.
Most doctors recommend a dose of 1 to 3 milligrams (mg). In some people, an overdose of melatonin may cause excessive sleepiness, while in others, it may have an effect that is opposite to the expected effect and trigger hypervigilance.
Signs of overdose include nausea, diarrhea, headache, and anxiety. In some cases, some people’s blood pressure may also spike.
Where can I buy melatonin
In the United States, melatonin can be used as a dietary supplement rather than a drug, which means that it is not subject to the strict supervision of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) like most drugs.
Be careful when buying melatonin supplements. Some brands have incorrect dosages listed, while others contain other chemicals that you may not want to consume.
Although melatonin is sometimes recommended for children with sleep disorders, there is not enough research to determine its safety for children. Although it is easily available over the counter and does not require a prescription, it is best to consult a doctor or medical professional before administering melatonin to your child.
Melatonin is available as an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine. This means that it can be easily purchased at a local pharmacy without a doctor’s prescription.
If you encounter the following conditions, be sure to consult your doctor before taking melatonin:
- Patients with epilepsy
- If you suspect that you may be at risk for an allergic reaction
- The elderly
- People with dementia
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women
How to take melatonin
Most medical experts do not recommend taking high doses of melatonin. Most over-the-counter melatonin supplements contain 0.1 to 12 mg of melatonin.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), children should not be given more than 3 to 6 mg of melatonin.
The National Health Service (NHS) also recommends that you take melatonin supplements one or two hours before bed. Taking it too early or too late may only further disrupt your wake-sleep cycle, rather than help regulate it.
Although it is relatively safe to take melatonin, its use may sometimes cause some minor side effects. The side effects of taking melatonin are similar in children and adults. Taking melatonin can sometimes cause the following side effects:
- Daytime sleepiness
If you experience swelling, difficulty breathing or hives while using melatonin, you may have an allergic reaction to it and you should see a doctor in the emergency room.