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Melatonin: An All-Natural Sleep Aid

By on September 1, 2017 in News with 0 Comments

Pretty much everyone has had days or periods of time where they got next to no sleep. It may be due to stress, health reasons, or some other factors, but regardless of why it happens, we can all agree that it is a terrible feeling. When you do not get enough sleep, you feel sluggish, you struggle to focus, and doing even the simplest tasks becomes extremely difficult. Plus, no matter how much coffee you drink, the feeling never seems to go away. If you have ever experienced this, rest assured that you are not alone. Studies have found that close to half of all Americans say that they do not get enough sleep during the week. Thankfully, there are ways to correct your sleep schedule and get your life back on track, and no, we are not talking about sleeping pills. What if we told you that there was an all-natural sleep aid that was just as effective as any commercial sleeping pill? Well, there is one and it is called melatonin. In this article, we are going to explain what melatonin is, how it works, where to buy it, and any potential side effects that you need to know about.

What is it?

When we say that melatonin is “all-natural,” we do not mean that it is found in nature from some plant. Rather, it is actually produced body the human body itself. That’s right, everybody has melatonin in their body right now. See, melatonin is a hormone produced by the human body and it is designed to regulate a person’s internal sleep schedule. Melatonin is produced in the brain, specifically, it is secreted by a small gland in the brain known as the “Pineal gland.” Now, you probably have never heard of the Pineal gland before, but, this pinecone shaped gland is extremely important because it helps to regulate your sleep patterns. One of the ways it does this is by releasing melatonin into the body. This is why melatonin is all-natural; unlike other sleep aids, which rely on chemicals or other ingredients to help you get to sleep, taking melatonin is essentially just giving your body more of something that it already makes on its own.

How it Works?

So, now that you know what melatonin is, you may be wondering how it works exactly. Well, your body released melatonin in response to environmental factors. So, for example, your body will detect that it is starting to get late and release melatonin to alert your body that it is time to go to sleep. Melatonin is released into your body throughout the entire day, but most melatonin is released during the night; specifically, most melatonin is released in a period from 11PM to 3AM. Of course, like most things involving the human body, it rarely works out so perfectly. Plenty of factors can interfere with the production of melatonin. For example, looking at light, specifically artificial light, right before bed can interfere with your body’s production of melatonin. This is why if you look up strategies for how to fall asleep easier, you will see that many experts recommend not looking at any source of light before going to bed. So, that means no browsing your phone, no watching television, and no surfing on a laptop. The reason for this it can mess with your melatonin production. Likewise, other behaviors such as eating before bed or exercising before bed can really mess with melatonin production.

So, as we have already hinted at, while your body produces melatonin, it is often disrupted or it does not produce enough to let you get to sleep properly. This is where things like melatonin supplements come in to play. By adding, even more, melatonin into your body, you supplement the supply that already exists in your body, which then helps you get to sleep that much easier. This is how melatonin differs from other sleep aids, like sleeping pills for example. Most sleeping pills use unnatural chemicals to help induce sleep. Melatonin supplements, on the other hand, only give your body more of what it already produces. This makes melatonin supplements a safer, more efficient choice.

Does it Work?

We have talked about what melatonin is and how it works, but you may still not be convinced. After all, plenty of online miracle supplements are complete scams and so you are right to be wary. But, there is a lot of scientific proof for the effectiveness of melatonin. In this section, we are going to look at some trusted sources that show how effective melatonin can be.

For starters, there is this 2013 study which examined close to 20 different studies on the effectiveness of melatonin (close to 1700 subjects were tested as part of these 19 studies). As you can see from the page we linked, all of the studies reviewed showed the same thing. They showed that melatonin was very effective in helping people to get to sleep. Not only did melatonin prove to be effective in helping people get to sleep, it was also effective in helping people stay asleep for longer. You see these same results in multiple other studies. For example, this 2004 study, which found that melatonin increased sleep efficiency and reduced the time it took to actually fall asleep.  

While more studies will continue to be done on the usefulness of melatonin, so far, the vast majority of studies show that melatonin supplements can be useful for helping regular people go to sleep and stay asleep.

Is Melatonin Safe?

One other study we want to highlight does not concern whether melatonin works, but rather whether melatonin is safe for usage by humans. The study confirms what we have already stated in this article so far, which is that melatonin is a safer option when compared with regular sleeping pills. As the study notes, the side effects of melatonin are relatively mild. At worst, a person will experience minor headaches, minor nausea, and issues with their sleep schedule being thrown off. However, taking too much melatonin does not seem to have any serious side effects. Again, more studies need to be done, but so far studies have shown that melatonin is perfectly safe for human consumption. So, if you are holding off on giving melatonin supplements a try because of potential dangers to your health, do not worry about it.

Now, the above information assumes that you are taking melatonin on its own. However, melatonin can have more serious side effects if you start mixing it with other drugs. For starters, never mix melatonin with sleeping medications. Sleeping medications already impact the way your brain functions, and mixing them with melatonin could potentially be dangerous. Likewise, other types of medications, such as birth control pills and blood pressure medications, can also be problematic if they get taken along with melatonin supplements. The best bet is to just avoid mixing medications. If you are taking medications, but you also want to give melatonin supplements a try, then make sure that you consult with your doctor before starting to take the supplements. Also, if you are pregnant or if you have another medical condition, like high blood pressure, then you should always consult with your doctor before taking new medicine of any kind.

Recommended Dosages

So, now that we have gone in depth on what melatonin is and how it works, we are going to cover how dosages work. You need to be very careful with melatonin dosages, not because you risk any serious side effects like illness or death, but because taking too much could negatively impact your sleep schedule. What dosage you need is also going to depend heavily on the issues you are facing. A study done by MIT in 2001 found that the ideal dosage for adults was 0.3 milligrams. Now, some other sources will recommend 0.5 milligrams. Also, depending on how serious your sleep issues are, you may find some experts recommending doses as high as 3 milligrams. It is very easy to get confused and not know which dosage you should be taking. There is so much conflicting information about melatonin, especially online, that a regular person can have a hard time finding out what their dosage should be. Unfortunately, there is no way for us to tell you what sort of dosage you should be taking since it is far too depending on your own personal factors.

What we can do, however, is give you a piece of advice with regards to melatonin dosages. With melatonin dosages, it is always a good idea to start at the lowest dosage possible (0.3 milligrams) and keep going up slowly until you reach the recommended maximum dosage (5 milligrams). Keep going until you find a dosage that works for you. A word of caution, however, dosages over 5 milligrams are useless. The body responds to dosages over 5 milligrams the same way it responds to dosages around that level. So, if you reach 5 milligram dosages and you find that you are still not sleeping well, then it is time to stop taking melatonin and find another solution since the melatonin clearly is not working for you.

Forms of Melatonin

So far, we have talked about the benefits of melatonin, so you may be eager to give it a try for yourself. But, now the question becomes how do I take it? Melatonin comes in 2 different forms, tablets and liquid. Each form has its own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s start by looking at tablets. Tablets are the most popular way of taking melatonin. They are easy to take and easy to find at most drug stores or online. The downside to tablets is that the melatonin in the tablets takes a while to get into your system since it must go through your digestive system. This means that when you take tablets, you need to time them so that they start to kick in around the time that you want to go to bed.

On the other hand, liquid melatonin is a bit more difficult to find and it tends to be a bit more difficult to take. But, liquid melatonin has the advantage of kicking in much quicker. So, whereas with tablets you must take them an hour or so before bed, you can take liquid melatonin 10 or 15 minutes before bed instead. This is because liquid gets absorbed into the bloodstream much quicker than pills.

Where to buy melatonin?

Melatonin supplements can be found all over the place. If you want to buy them in person, you should be able to get them from drug stores and any place that sells all-natural supplements. You can also find plenty of melatonin supplements for sale online. If you do decide to buy them online, then you should make sure to buy them directly from the manufacturer’s website, and not through a 3rd party retailer.

Side effects of Melatonin

In a previous section we covered some of the negative effects of melatonin, but in this section, we plan to go a bit more in-depth as to what the side effects of melatonin are. The 3 main side effects of melatonin are drowsiness, headaches, and dizziness. Now, these side effects are relatively minor and people may experience varying levels of each side effect. Some more serious side effects include nausea and irritability. But, these side effects are a lot rarer. Also, parents should be aware that while melatonin can be given to kids, there are some side effects that are specific to children. For example, children given melatonin may wet their bed because their bodies are not used to their sleep schedule being changed around. Kids may also experience diarrhea as a result of being given melatonin.

Conclusion

For those who are struggling to get the proper amount of sleep per day, melatonin supplements can be a good way of getting to sleep, without having to rely on potentially dangerous sleeping pills. If melatonin supplements interest you, talk to your doctor and see if they recommend trying them out.

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About the Author

About the Author: Hi, My name is Tom Curren and I appreciate your interest in my male supplement review site malestrengthreview.com. My mission is to provide well researched, unbiased, honest reviews of the top supplements on the market today. As a personal trainer I strive to assist my clients everyday, this also including recommendations for only the best supplements produced. Along with my own personal testing I also am provided with honest reviews from individuals on a daily basis who test new supplements, thus I am able to only recommend what is going to be the most effective and what you should avoid. .

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