Melatonin for Sleep: What You Should Know

12/09/2015

When it comes to living healthy, it is important you get enough sleep. A restless night’s sleep does not only lower your productivity but will also leave you feeling exhausted and irritated throughout the day. If you are always tossing and turning around in bed, somebody may have recommended that you try melatonin to help you get a good night’s sleep. Here’s what you should know about melatonin for sleep.

What is Melatonin?
Well, first off you need to know your body naturally produces melatonin with the help of amino acids. Melatonin used as a medication is synthesized in laboratories. It is available in pill form and can also be found in other forms. Melatonin is what helps your body prepare for bedtime. Its key function is to regulate your body’s internal clock, hence melatonin helps your body know it is time to get some rest.

So, in short, if you face trouble sleeping because your body does not produce enough melatonin for some reason, a melatonin supplement will help you break your cycle of insomnia and may also help you deal with jetlag. Some people use melatonin for depression, Alzheimer’s disease, headaches, epilepsy and countless other diseases.

Is Melatonin Safe?
In most cases, it is perfectly safe to take melatonin as long as you keep the doses small and use it only temporarily. It is advisable you take the opinion of doctor before taking any kind of supplement. It is also advisable that children, pregnant and nursing women only use melatonin until their doctor prescribes it as safe for their use. You should only take melatonin prior going to bed. As the supplement prepares the body to go to sleep, you experience drowsiness. Make sure you do not take a dose in the morning as it can lead to drowsiness. If you have to, make sure you do not drive or operate machinery after taking it as it can lead to severe accidents.

Melatonin is Not a Sleeping Pill
Contrary to what people think, taking melatonin for sleep does not exactly guarantee you a good night’s sleep. It is only advisable to use a dosage for short-term applications. While melatonin helps prepare your body for bedtime and can help you fall asleep, it will not help you stay asleep.

Side Effects
Most people assume that because melatonin is a natural hormone found in the body, taking melatonin for sleep will not cause side effects. They are wrong. Excessive use of melatonin can pose serious health risks. Some of the side effects include:

  • Headaches
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • Mild Anxiety

In addition, it is advisable not to use melatonin for sleep with other medications as it may interact or interfere with them in the body and cause harm.

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