The pineal gland is responsible for the production of Melatonin. A pea-sized gland located just above the center of your brain; is what you’re looking for. When you use it, your body will be more aware of when to sleep and when to get up.
Typically, your body produces more Melatonin at night than during the day. When the sun sets in the evening, chemicals in the air begin to rise. When the sun rises in the morning, they begin to fall. The quantity of hormones your body produces is determined by the amount of light you get each day and your internal clock. This is why its so critical to get light in the morning when you wake-up, and to prevent light in the evening. Whereas chemicals like cortisol make you alert, melatonin is meant to make you feel sleepy. Stress and its effects can reduce the production of melatonin and disrupt your sleep.
What is the purpose of taking Melatonin?
Melatonin is used by those with occasional insomnia, defined as difficulty getting asleep and staying asleep. People also use it to treat a variety of other sleep disorders. Problems sleeping might be caused by something called delayed sleep phase disorder. If you suffer from this condition, falling asleep before 2 a.m. is difficult. Getting out of bed in the morning is also tricky.
On the other hand, Melatonin cannot replace medical treatment for significant sleep disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea, narcolepsy, or long-term insomnia.
People who work in occupations that disturb their regular sleep cycles, a condition known as sleep work disorder, may benefit from taking Melatonin.
It’s also used to cure or prevent jet lag, among other things. It is this sense of being exhausted and run-down that some people experience while travelling between time zones.
Doctors are also investigating if Melatonin may assist with the following conditions:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- High nighttime blood pressure
- Sleep problems in children with autism spectrum disorders
The Side Effects of Melatonin
While Melatonin has fewer adverse effects than other sleep medications typically, you may nevertheless experience the following:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Stomach discomfort
- A “heavy head” feeling
- Short-lived depression
How Does Melatonin Help Your Health?
When flying across different time zones, one might have jet lag. Jet lag may harm your entire health, including disrupted sleep, daily exhaustion, decreased productivity, and digestive issues. Melatonin can improve jet lag symptoms, such as alertness and daytime sleepiness.
Melatonin pills may help alleviate jet lag, according to studies. From 2010 through 2014, there were a few medium-sized reviews.
- Study participants who flew from the west coast to the east coast were given Melatonin or a placebo (a medication that does not affect the body) to help alleviate the symptoms of jet leggedness.
- On another eastbound journey, researchers studied the sleep quality of 234 people, finding very little Evidence that Melatonin may be superior to placebo in enhancing sleep quality.
According to two separate studies, Melatonin may be more effective than a placebo in alleviating symptoms of jet lag after westward flights.
Delayed Sleep-Wake Phase Disorder (DSWPD)
DSWPD sufferers find it difficult to fall asleep and wake up in the morning. They like to get up between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. since they find it difficult to sleep before 2 to 6 a.m.
People with DSWPD may benefit from melatonin supplements; however, the benefits may not exceed the risks. Clinical guidelines, a brief review, and even more recent research are all used to support this conclusion.
- For DSWPD, melatonin supplements were suggested by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine in 2015. According to the suggestion, Melatonin’s advantages may not exceed its possible side effects.
- Compared to a placebo, melatonin supplements decreased the time it took for persons with DSWPD to fall asleep in a 2016 evaluation of two trials. It took them an average of 22 minutes less to fall asleep.
ü It has been observed that taking Melatonin an hour before night and going to bed at a pre-determined time may enhance the quality of life for patients with DSWPD. There was a 34-minute reduction in the time it took to fall asleep and improved sleep in the first part of the night.
Children’s Sleep Difficulties
The inability to sleep in children may negatively affect their behavior, daily functioning, and overall quality of life. Some medical diseases, such as atopic dermatitis, asthma, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), increase children’s likelihood of sleep issues more than in the general population.
There are no overarching recommendations for the most effective way to increase sleep in children. In other cases, however, treatment recommendations for particular disorders propose behavioral interventions, such as excellent sleep practices and parent education, as a first treatment option that may be augmented with medications if necessary.
- There was a total of 1,021 children in 18 different trials that were included in the 2019 evaluation of melatonin supplementation. The majority of the investigations were minor and short (1 to 13 weeks). Melatonin was shown to be more effective than a placebo in reducing the time it takes to fall asleep and the overall amount of time spent sleeping. Scientists could not determine Melatonin’s impact on people’s sleep and waking behavior and daytime functioning since the research employed various evaluation methods.
The following is a list of the short-term effects of Melatonin on a variety of disorders in children.
- There was a 37-minute difference in the time it took children with ASD to fall asleep and the amount of time they slept.
- It took them 20 minutes less to fall asleep, and they slept for 33 minutes more.
- Those with an atopic condition fell asleep 6.8 minutes sooner and stayed slept for 35 minutes longer than those without the state.
- It took children with persistent sleep-onset insomnia 24 minutes longer to go off to sleep and stay sleeping for an additional 25 minutes.
Is taking Melatonin A Risky Endeavour?
There is currently insufficient evidence on the potential adverse effects of melatonin supplements, especially at levels greater than those produced by the body naturally, to provide a clear picture of their general safety. For the most part, short-term usage of melatonin supplements seems safe for most individuals. Still, there is little evidence on the long-term safety of supplementing with Melatonin.
Skip Melatonin for Sleep If
You Are Pregnant
Melatonin may pose a risk to the fetus if used regularly or excessively. Melatonin may have effects comparable to birth control, making it harder to become pregnant. There isn’t enough solid evidence to say whether or not taking Melatonin while pregnant is safe. Pregnant women and those trying to conceive should avoid using Melatonin until more is known about its effects.
There isn’t enough solid evidence to say whether Melatonin is safe to use when breastfeeding a baby. Avoid putting yourself in harm’s way by not using it or check with your primary care doctor.
Have High Blood Pressure
Melatonin has been linked to increased blood pressure in persons already taking medicine to lower it, so it is advised not to use it without consulting a physician.
Use Melatonin Sleeping Pills with Caution!
Before sleeping, take 1 to 3 milligrams. Starting a few days before your journey, take Melatonin two hours before sleep at your destination to help with jet lag. Another option is to remain up when you arrive at your destination and postpone rest until your typical bedtime in the new time zone so that your sleep-wake routine is in sync with your new location. Also, get some fresh air and exposure to natural light.
Know When to Stop!
Stop using Melatonin for sleep if it doesn’t assist after a week or two. And if you’re still having trouble sleeping, make an appointment with your doctor. Most individuals may safely take Melatonin nightly for one to two months if it seems to be helpful. Finally, take a break and check on your sleep. To get the most out of your sleep, relax before bed, keep the lights dim, and sleep in a cool, dark, cozy bedroom.
Talk to your doctor if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or hypertension. Some hypertension drugs may elevate blood sugar and blood pressure levels in those using Melatonin supplements. You can also consider helping your body recover with additional supplements such as Tok Wellness, which uses researched adaptogens to help the body recover.
· Auld F, Maschauer EL, Morrison I, et al. Evidence for the efficacy of Melatonin in the treatment of primary adult sleep disorders. Sleep Medicine Reviews. 2017;34:10-22.
· McDonagh MS, Holmes R, Hsu F. Pharmacologic treatments for sleep disorders in children: a systematic review. Journal of Child Neurology. 2019;34(5):237-247.
· Herxheimer A. Jet lag. Clinical Evidence. 2014;2014:2303.
· Liira J, Verbeek JH, Costa G, et al. Pharmacological interventions for sleepiness and sleep disturbances caused by shift work. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2014;(8):CD009776. Accessed at www.cochranelibrary.comon October 10, 2019.