Melatonin can be a wonderful cure for insomnia. In fact, if you’ve ever had problems sleeping you have probably had melatonin offered as a solution. Many enthusiasts of natural medicines recommend taking a melatonin supplement instead of using prescribed sleeping pills. You may even find that some prescription pills use melatonin as well.
Just what is this magic sleep-inducing product and where does it come from though? When is it safe to take melatonin and when should you avoid using it? Below we provide you will all the information you need to know about melatonin and the effects it can have on your body.
What is Melatonin?
So just what is melatonin and why is it so popular? Well, melatonin is one of the most natural things you can use for sleep. This is because your body actually makes melatonin to regulate your sleep cycle with. This hormone is made every day, primarily at night to help you go to sleep.
The body tends to make this hormone based on your particular sleep schedule. In animals, this hormone helps signal to them the time of the day they should be resting. It also helps them keep track of the time of day. Melatonin is essentially the main part of your biological calendar that signals when to end your day.
There are also some stimuli that can promote your body to begin making melatonin. If you sit in a dark room then your body will be singled to start making melatonin. Likewise, there are also ways to stop the production of this hormone. In fact, if you sit in a brightly lit room it can completely stop the production of melatonin.
This is why you see schools and office areas using bright fluorescent lights. The production trigger of this hormone is simple, light equals time to be awake and the dark equals time to sleep. In the past, this helped our ancestors successfully keep there sleep schedule based around daytime and nighttime.
How Melatonin Is Produced?
Now that we know what melatonin is and how it’s triggered, what part of the body produces it? The pineal gland is the primary producer of melatonin in the body. The gland is sent signals by the retinal photoreceptor cells through the nervous system.
This signals when it’s dark or light to the gland to tell the body when to start production. When it’s light out the retinal cells are extremely active signaling to the pineal glad that it is not yet time to sleep.
How Does It Work?
Simply put, melatonin work by adjusting your internal clock to the proper time for rest. By taking melatonin you are realsing the hormone in your body that basically tells everything to slow down for the night. It affects everything from your nervous system to your mind.
It basically slows everything down enough to where you feel like you need to rest. Have you ever noticed that when you begin to feel tired your reaction times became worse? This is because your nervous system has been singled to take it easy for the night. You may also notice that your body feels heavier when you sleep, this is because your muscles aren’t working at there full capacity.
Generally, natural melatonin won’t work against you even if you’re in a dark room if you have a ton of pint up energy. Having surplus energy can counteract melatonin to an extent. This is one of the reasons energy drinks wake you up when you’ve barely gotten any rest. You should note that using things such as caffeine to combat melatonin can actually throw off your sleep schedule.
This can lead to things such as insomnia or even something as simple as throwing off your sleep schedule by an hour or two. You should also note that melatonin is primarily produced later at night when your body has been in the dark for a long period of time. This usually happens after midnight or in the early hours of the morning.
Melatonin is basically designed to ramp up as the night goes on to help you get a more fulfilling sleep so that your body can fully function the next day. This is why you will notice a lot of people who work night shifts seem to be tired no matter how much sleep they get. Their body is trying to promote the natural sleep pattern it is biologically programmed to be on.
When Should You Take Melatonin?
There are several instances in which melatonin may be the way to go. This hormone can be useful for just about anyone who has or is going to have issues sleeping. All types of people have used melatonin to help them fall asleep including doctors and those in the medical fields themselves. Many doctors will even recommend taking an overcounted does of the hormone instead of relying on sleep pills for many moderate sleep problems ou their. Additionally, melatonin is added to many over the counter medicines like Tylenol to help you fall asleep while in pain.
Lack of Natural Melatonin:
One of the biggest reasons you find people taking melatonin is their lack of production. Whether it be a short term issue or a genetic issue, some peoples bodies just to produce the hormone like they need to. In this case, a melatonin supplement can help supply the missing hormone to your body. This will help balance you out and encourage you to get back to sleep.
Short-term use of melatonin can help rebalance your body and promote the proper production of the hormone. Likewise, the supplements can also be used longterm if your body just doesn’t produce the amount it needs to. In this case, a doctor should properly diagnose you for sleep-related issues.
Change in Schedule:
Another popular reason many sleepers use melatonin is a switch in jobs. A new schedule will always need adjustments and when you go in earlier or later you may need to change your sleep pattern to accommodate your new job. This can be especially useful if you have taken on a night shift job that requires your sleep pattern to be completely flipped around. In this case, you can use melatonin combined with a darkened room to readjust your body to sleep in the daytime instead of at night.
Melatonin is also wonderful to use if you have problems with insomnia or anxiety that keep you from sleeping at night. Using melatonin can help signal your body to shut down no matter how interesting the thoughts keeping you up are. Likewise, the melatonin can calm down an anxiety attack to help you calmly drift off to sleep.
This is why you will see melatonin mixed in with many herbal calming products. The hormone is a one-stop shop for helping your fall asleep naturally and within a reasonable amount of time. Melatonin can also be used to help sedate panic attacks or sleepers who are in too much pain to settle down.
How Does It Help You Fall Asleep?
By taking a melatonin supplement you are telling your body it’s time to rest. The melatonin supplement is absorbed into your bloodstream and carried to your brain. Once there it activates and tells your body it’s time to shut down for the day. It slows down your nervous system and puts your body in an energy saving mode.
This makes you feel more sluggish and reduces your reaction to things around you. As the melatonin continues to take effect you will begin to slow down more and more until you drift off to sleep. It’s basically the same thing as hitting the rest mode button on your computer to conserve energy.
Can You Take Melatonin Every Night?
Taking melatonin can be a nightly thing provided your doctor hasn’t cautioned you against it. As long as your body doesn’t have an adverse reaction feel free to take the supplement nightly if it helps you sleep properly. Make sure to try and schedule the time you take your melatonin tablet so that your body doesn’t start to get mixed up.
Many people who have short bursts of insomnia will take melatonin for a few weeks and notice there body readjusts naturally making the need for a supplement non-existant. For others that don’t make the hormone as they should, it’s completely normal to take melatonin every night before bed.
In fact, the only situations in which you shouldn’t take melatonin every night is if you’re overdosing. Or if you experience a bad reaction to the hormone supplement. You may also want to stop taking the tablet if your body seems to be getting reliant on outside sources of melatonin.
If your doctor instructs you not to use the hormone then stop taking the supplement immediately. While cases are rare, some uses experience issues related to taking melatonin on a nightly basis.
What Is The Proper Dosage?
The proper dosage of melatonin will differ based on who is taking it and what they need it for. Certain people and sleep disorders will require a higher dosage while moderate issues will take a smaller dosage of melatonin.
If you simply have trouble falling asleep some nights then you will only want to take between .05mg to 5mg of the hormone. You will need to adjust the dosage based on the effectiveness.
We recommend that you always start with the smallest dosage and then work your way up until you figure out how many milligrams are required to help you properly fall asleep at night. If you have persisting issues sleeping or it’s a weekly occurrence then you can expect to use a higher dosage.
If you have a sleep-wake cycle disturbance then your dosage will vary from people who just have occasional trouble falling asleep. The minimum dosage for most people with this disturbance starts at around 2mg and can go up to 12mg depending on the severity of the situation. You can expect to take this dosage for a few weeks before your cycle returns to normal.
If you have full on insomnia then you will find that you need to take between 2mg to 4mg for a moderate condition. If you have a severe insomnia problem then the dosage will be between 2mg to 12mg like sleep disturbance patients.
Is It Safe For Children?
Like with most medicine or supplements you give to your child, the dosage is going to be different from what you would give a full grown adult. Overall, melatonin is completely safe for children to take. Since melatonin is a natural hormone that is produced from birth it doesn’t have adverse effects like an unnatural substance would on your child’s body.
In fact, there are even dose guidelines to use melatonin on children who insomnia or other problems sleeping at night, These guidelines are made by doctors who have been using melatonin for years to help children get to sleep naturally.
For older children, the dosage will be the same as what adults take. This can vary if the child is extremely underweight or is extremely sensitive to the hormone. Children who are still considered babies or toddlers will be recommended small doses possibly as low as .005mg of melatonin in order to help them sleep.
For young children always see your doctor before using any type of supplement on them as children under 5 can have specific health needs. To give you an idea of how low a child’s dose can be children below 12 take .005 mg to .15mg to overcome insomnia.
What Other Benefits Does It Offer?
There are a plethora of benefits that melatonin has been connected to help with. This includes helping with everything from physical ailments to helping improve some mental health issues. This is because simply having a proper nights sleep can significantly boost your immune system and leave your mind feeling refreshed. There are also health befits that may surprise you like improved eye health. Melatonin is a natural supplement that doesn’t generally cause harm to the body leaving room for it to give you several health benefits other than signaling your body to fall asleep at night.
To start with it can help improve your eye health as mentioned above. As weird as this sound there is a bit of science behind this claim. Melatonin is an antioxidant, that means that it can help lower the chances of dieses. This is because the retina is heavily linked to signaling for your body to make melatonin.
By taking melatonin you are also strengthing the health of your eyes and can help prevent things such as degeneration as you get older. In one study it was found that taking melatonin helps protect the retina from damage caused by light. If nothing else it helps makes the eyes job of signaling melatonin production much easier.
It has also been linked to helping with some types of depression. This is because there is a very real type of depression that is caused by the changing of the seasons. Seasonal depression is often linked to the harsh effect the long winter nights can heave on your bodies day-night cycle. When your body has trouble sleeping properly it affects many parts of your mental health.
You may get frustrated easier or have improper reactions to the situations around you. Taking melatonin by extension can cure depression brought on by the drastic change winter brings to your body. Melatonin takes the frustration out of trying to adjust to the long nights of winter.
If helping with your eyesight wasn’t impressive enough, melatonin can help fix ulcers. This is once again thanks to the fact that melatonin is an antioxidant. When mixed with other medications commonly used for treating ulcers the result was a faster healing time.
It’s also been found that melatonin can help temporarily alleviate heartburn and calm down stomach acid. This can be a huge help if a sleeper has trouble going to sleep thanks to digestive issues that give them heartburn at night.
Can You Overdose?
As silly as overdosing on a naturally produced hormone may sound, it is possible. We will start by noting that melatonin overdose isn’t generally a life-threatening issue, but it can be an uncomfortable one. Overdosing on melatonin will essentially make you a walking zombie, you won’t feel very reactive to situations and your mood will probably not be great.
Generally, it’s pretty hard to overdose on melatonin by accident as many users are nervous to take more than a couple of tablets at once. If you’re having a particularly rough night sleeping and decided to take a couple extra to help out though you probably just overloaded your body with the hormone.
Generally, you shouldn’t have problems as long as you start small and work your way up to the dosage that is right for you. Never take more than the recommended amount on the back of the bottle to avoid an overdose.
How Does It Interact With Other Substances?
Believe it or not, melatonin has some surprising things that it just doesn’t mix well with. For starters don’t take melatonin and then drink something with caffeine in it. Caffeine will negate the effects of melatonin making your supplement a waste of time. You will also want to avoid using melatonin if you already use a sedative. Using the two back to back can overload your body making you feel run down.
Melatonin also should be avoided if you take medicine to help your blood clot as melatonin slows your body down. Likewise, you should avoid melatonin if you use medication for increasing your blood sugar. Slowing your body down when it already has trouble producing needed sugars will only lead to issues in the future.
The most surprising medicine on the list to not mix melatonin with is birth control. Birth controls already actually help with the production of melatonin. Taking a melatonin pill on top of birth control can lead to overdosing on the hormone. So if you already take birth control and aren’t getting enough sleep than definitely talk to your doctor.
Signs Of Too Much Melatonin:
You may be wondering how to tell if you took a little too much melatonin last night. There are some telling symptoms you may experience if you’ve had a melatonin overdose. The first thing you will notice is that you still feel groggy even after a full nights sleep. You may also have headaches, especially when exposing to bright lights that typically signal for your body to stop melatonin production.
Another common symptom is oversleeping or even sleeping through loud alarms that normally wakes you. Another telling sign is irritability the same as you would have from having a restless night.
Along with this, there are some more severe symptoms like dizziness that can occur. Some people may even experience nausea throughout the day or diarrhea. Your mental health can also be affected and you may find that you are more anxious than normal. Make sure to keep track of any side effects. And if they start to become problematic than stop using it.
Melatonin Safety Tips:
There are a few rules you should follow when taking melatonin. For starters, your reactive timing is reduced so you shouldn’t do anything that calls for fast reactions. This includes driving even if you only need to go a short distance. You also shouldn’t use tools or cook after taking melatonin.
Falling asleep doing either of these activities could lead to injury. In addition, don’t use heavy amounts of melatonin if you have to wake up at certain intervals or have small children that may need you during the night.
Also, consult your doctor or a medical professional too. If you have any hesitation of taking a supplement, than getting the go ahead from your doctor will help calm any anxiety. It will also help ensure you are getting the proper dosage and keep them in the loop for any future diagnosis’ as well.
Using Melatonin For Sleep:
Melatonin is a wonderful way to fall asleep without having to use sedatives. It’s a naturally produced hormone that your body is used to and can even be used by children. Even if you take too much melatonin you will just feel groggy. Using a melatonin supplement can help alleviate heartburn or seasonal depression. Avoid using this supplement if you take medications that help your body function faster or use birth control. Overall, melatonin is a safe, easy, and effective way to cure moderate sleep issues without having to see your doctor.
If you would like to try melatonin for yourself there are several options available. We recommend a sleep aide made by Botanicaide that that utilizes not only melatonin, but also the natural benefits of Valerian Root, Hemp Extract and Passiflora too. The overall results are a natural relaxation that will help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
The “Sleep” supplement by Botanicaide uses European CBD (cannabidiol), a hemp extract that helps reduce anxiety and allows you to fully relax. This is combine with natural hormone, Melatonin, to provide that link to your natural circadian sleep cycle. As well as the benefits of Valerian Root, used for its restful properties and Passiflora, which promotes peace of mind. All of these natural ingredients are carefully and precisely combine to create a formula to help you get the rest you need.
Learn more and shop for your Sleep Supplement at Botanicaide.com.
There are several other options and supplements of melatonin too. They can come in the form of a tablet, gel capsule, liquid dropper and even gummies. As well as a powder that can be added to liquid and drank too. One of these such powders is the “Sleep Formula” supplement by FitFormula.
This gentle but effective combination of melatonin and GABA helps you drift off to dream. It even has a pleasant blueberry flavor too. It is fast absorbing, gluten free and uses no fillers or preservatives. This “magic elixir” helps your natural circadian rhythm back on track. And you getting the rest you need.
Learn more and shop for your Blueberry Flavored Sleep Formula at FitFormula.com.
Our Sleep Guide is here to help you find the best night sleep. Rather that is through the perfect mattress, ideal pillow or sleep supplement. We would like to note that we always recommend speaking to a medical professional, especially if you plan on adding any supplements. However, if you have any questions for us, please feel free to Contact Us.
Check out this article if you want general tips for better sleep