Melatonin: What you have to Know?

 What Is Melatonin? 

Melatonin is a hormone that directs your circadian rhythms, or the internal clock that tells you when to sleep. Your brain makes and releases melatonin according to the time of day. You make more when it’s dark outside and less when it’s light out. As you get older, your brain produces less melatonin. Luckily, you can also get this hormone as a supplement. 


The Sleep Supplement 

Melatonin is best known for helping with sleep issues like jet lag, insomnia, and delayed sleep phase, a disorder that causes you to go to sleep later and wake up later. It also can treat circadian rhythm sleep disorders in those who are blind. Melatonin can help you fall asleep a bit faster than you normally would, but its effects on your quality of sleep and the amount of time you sleep are still being studied. More research is also needed on whether melatonin can help you sleep if you work late shifts. Melatonin might control more than sleep. Although more research is needed, early studies show the hormone can affect your body temperature and lower night time blood pressure if you have hypertension. But research about how melatonin affects blood sugar is conflicting. Animal studies suggest it may help with weight loss, but more research is needed to see if that holds true for humans. Early studies suggest melatonin also might be helpful for macular degeneration, gastroesophageal reflux disease (heartburn), tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and migraines. 

Melatonin: What you have to Know?

Is It Safe?

Think of melatonin as a sleeping pill; something you’d take for a short period of time but not all the time. Melatonin is usually safe for occasional use, but researchers aren’t sure of its long-term effects. Always check with your doctor first about use and dosage, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or have dementia, epilepsy, or an autoimmune disease. Some people might have an allergic reaction to melatonin. 

Potential Side Effects 


The most common side effects of melatonin supplements are headache, dizziness, nausea, and drowsiness during the day. Rare side effects include confusion, stomach cramps, crankiness or depression, tremors, and anxiety.

Drug Interactions 

Melatonin is considered a dietary supplement in the U.S., which means it’s not regulated as strictly as over-the-counter medications. In some countries, you need a prescription for it. Melatonin doesn’t mix well with certain medications, including: 

  • Anticonvulsants 
  • Birth control drugs 
  • Blood thinners 
  • Blood pressure drugs 
  • Central nervous system depressants 
  • Diabetes medications 
  • Diazepam (Valium, Valtoco) 
  • Drugs that lower your seizure threshold 
  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox) 
  • Immunosuppressants 

Natural Melatonin in Food 

Your body makes melatonin naturally – it’s even in breast milk. Certain foods also have natural melatonin. Eggs, fish, and nuts have the highest amount, but you can also find it in some kinds of mushrooms and grains. Tart cherries have both melatonin and tryptophan, an amino acid used to make melatonin and serotonin. This combination might help you get to sleep quicker and stay asleep longer. 

How Much to Take and Why 

Take just enough melatonin to get the job done, starting with( .3 milligram to 1 milligram). If that doesn’t work, talk with your doctor about increasing the amount. If you take too much melatonin, you might get headaches, feel nauseated, or feel drowsy in the daytime. 

 How to Choose It 

Melatonin comes in two forms: natural and synthetic. The natural version is made from the glands of animals and may contain viruses that make you sick. To avoid that risk, use the synthetic version instead. 

When to Take It 

Melatonin isn’t a fast-acting supplement. To get the most benefits, take it a few hours before bedtime. Closer to bedtime, set yourself up for sleep success by making sure your room is cool and dark. Turn off your screens and go to bed around the same time every night. 

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post