First off, let's begin with what melatonin actually is. Melatonin is a hormone naturally made by your body and is produced in the brain by the pineal gland and is also found in other areas including the eyes, gut, and bone marrow. Melatonin is oftentimes referred to as the "sleep hormone" because having and maintaining high levels of melatonin can help you fall and stay asleep. In this article we discuss the side effects and benefits of melatonin and melatonin supplements.
This is where melatonin is widely misunderstood. Many people believe melatonin by itself puts you to sleep. This is not true. By itself, melatonin will not put you to sleep, it simply lets your body know its time so you can relax and fall asleep easier and stay asleep longer at night.
Melatonin works together with your body's circadian rhythm—which is your body's internal clock and lets you know when it is time to sleep, wake up, and eat. There is also strong evidence that melatonin helps regulate your body temperature, blood pressure, and even hormone levels. Melatonin also binds to receptors in the brain, reducing nerve activity, helping you relax. Individuals who don't get enough or have high enough levels of melatonin tend to have a difficult time getting to and staying asleep.
As Vitagene stated, "melatonin is a super clever and versatile hormone that can help with anxiety and depression, relieve pain from chronic disease, prevent cancer cell growth, and decrease the effects of estrogen on tumor growth. With so many amazing benefits, it’s in your best interest to check your melatonin level—and supplement if necessary."
Easy Sleep™ is designed with an optimal blend of melatonin (2.5 mg), and a unique blend of essential vitamin and minerals such as iron, as well as stress-relieving botanicals like L-theanine, valerian root extract, and passionflower to support a healthy night's sleep without next-day grogginess. You can shop Easy Sleep, a sleep supplement with an optimal amount of melatonin here.
Evidence shows that taking melatonin before bed or even low doses during the day can help you fall asleep and stay asleep at night. Scientists found in an analysis that included 19 different studies of people with sleep disorders that melatonin helped reduce the time it took to fall asleep by an average of 7 minutes. A majority of the participants also reported better sleep quality as well.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), commonly known as the winter blues is estimated to affect over 10 million adult Americans in 2020. There is evidence that melatonin supplementation can possibly help reduce seasonal depression by helping with the sleep/wake cycle.
Human growth hormone is a hormone naturally released during sleep. HGH plays a fundamental role in maintaining body composition, cell repair, and metabolism. Human growth hormone also increases muscle growth, strength, and even exercise performance. Human growth hormone is naturally released during sleep. Taking melatonin may help increase hormone growth hormone levels in healthy young individuals. Recent studies have shown that melatonin can make the pituitary gland more sensitive and release human growth hormone more frequently.
When traveling across different times zones the body's circadian rhythm, also known as the sleep/wake cycle, can be disrupted. Studies suggests that melatonin supplements can reduce jet lag symptoms and improve sleep quality and duration. When taken at night, melatonin can improve alertness during the day, movement coordination, and even daytime sleepiness.
For best results, melatonin supplements should be started during the day of travel and should be taken at the desired bedtime at the destination.
The powerful antioxidant properties of melatonin could be an effective treatment for stomach ulcers and may even help alleviate heartburn. One recent study that included 21 individuals found that taking tryptophan (an essential amino acid) and melatonin in addition to omeprazole—a common medication for acid reflux experienced healing in stomach ulcers caused by the bacteria H. pylori faster. Melatonin also helped reduce heartburn in the individuals in the study.
Healthy melatonin levels have shown the ability to support eye health. Melatonin has powerful antioxidant benefits that could help lower the risk of many common eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), in which 11 million people in the United States are affected from each year. That number, is expected to double by 2050 to 22 million.
Melatonin is safe, non-toxic, and not addictive. People may experience mild side effects including sleepiness and possible nausea. However, when taken with a lower dosage 0.5 mg - 5 mg) these symptoms are rare. Individuals who are on blood thinners or blood pressure medication should speak with their doctor when beginning melatonin supplements or products that contain melatonin.
The Sleep Foundation states, "There is no official recommended melatonin dosage for adults, but a range of 0.5 milligram to 5 milligrams (5 mg) appears to be safe and effective. Adults can take melatonin about one hour before bed."
The use of melatonin in small doses appears to be safe and well-tolerated by most children. The effective dosage for children ranges from 0.05 milligrams per kilogram to 5 milligrams of melatonin. When children experience side effects from taking melatonin, they’re typically mild and may include:
Medical professionals may recommend melatonin for children with conditions that affect their sleep, such as insomnia, autism spectrum disorder, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Several studies have shown melatonin supplements can significantly improve overall sleep times by 25 minutes to 48 minutes, on average, for children with these conditions.
Research suggests that doses of melatonin above 10 mg and at/or around the 30 mg mark are usually considered to be harmful. In fact, taking too much melatonin can have the opposite effect of its intended purpose. An overdose of melatonin can actually leave you feeling groggy in the morning, disturb your circadian rhythm (sleep/wake cycle), give you nightmares, and make it much more difficult to wake up the next morning.
Melatonin is a clever hormone naturally made by your body and is produced in the brain by the pineal gland and is also found in other areas including the eyes, gut, and bone marrow. It works together with your body's circadian rhythm—which is your body's internal clock and lets you know when it is time to sleep, wake up, and eat. There are many melatonin benefits. These benefits include:
Melatonin is safe, non-toxic, and not addictive. Individuals who are on blood thinners or blood pressure medication should speak with their doctor when beginning melatonin supplements or products that contain melatonin. Common dosage of melatonin supplements range from 0.5 mg to 10 mg.
Q: Is it okay to take melatonin every night?
A: When taken in the optimal amount, 2.5 mg, melatonin is okay to be taken as a supplement each day. The problem, however, is too many melatonin supplements on the market today have too much melatonin which can interfere with your body's circadian rhythm.
Q: Is melatonin actually good for you?
A: Melatonin is a hormone that plays an important role in your natural sleep-wake cycle. Research suggests that melatonin supplements may be helpful in treating sleep disorders including insomnia and jet lag.
Q: Is it okay to take melatonin supplements daily?
A: Research suggests that it is safe to take melatonin on a daily basis. Individuals should not take more than 10 mg of melatonin daily.
Q: Does melatonin help anxiety?
A: Studies show melatonin can increase levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in certain parts of the brain. This can lead to feelings of anxiety and stress relief.
Q: Does melatonin make you feel tired the next day?
A: You're less likely to feel a “hangover” effect if you take melatonin at the correct time and in the right dosage.
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