With daylight savings time approaching, you may want to find a quick solution to a healthier sleep pattern. To get the long-awaited sleep, people are increasingly looking to over-the-counter supplements called melatonin.
FAQ: Melatonin as a sleep aid
Many people rely on melatonin to get sleepy. People use it to minimize jet lag, relieve anxiety at bedtime, and relieve insomnia. But what exactly is melatonin and how does it work? We have a PhD Answer these and other questions about popular sleep aids Shin:
Q: What is melatonin?
A: Melatonin is a hormone that sends signals to the brain during sleep. When the pineal gland of the brain (also known as the third eye) senses darkness, it begins to secrete melatonin, reducing physiological function.
Q: What can I do to influence the natural production of melatonin in my body?
A: The best way to affect melatonin levels is to play with light. The invention of the light bulb gave birth to artificial light. Our bodies and brains are not designed to work in the dark, but modern inventions give us that ability. An unfortunate side effect is that night light can suppress the natural levels of melatonin and shift the body clock. The best approach is to promote the natural production of melatonin by keeping the conditions dark and avoiding night light.
Q: Does taking melatonin help me sleep better?
A: Yes, but not as effective as using outside light. The only exception is jet lag. If you use a jet to quickly cross a time zone, your body clock will crawl to the new time zone. The best way to speed up this adjustment is to use light. However, taking melatonin about an hour before bedtime can also help speed up the process.
Q: Do melatonin supplements have side effects?
A: Melatonin appears to be safe for humans, but most supplements also contain other ingredients such as magnesium and serotonin. These substances can have side effects and interact with other medicines. It is also important to remember that poor timing of melatonin can disrupt normal circadian rhythms, exacerbate insomnia, and exacerbate depressive disorders. And there is no government oversight or regulation of supplements containing melatonin. Without a standardized regulatory process, no matter what is written on the bottle, there is no way to know how much melatonin is in the supplement.
Q: How can we improve the quality of sleep naturally?
A: There are things you can do to induce sleep without supplements. Three important considerations:
Light exposure: Dim the lights about an hour before bedtime and avoid exposure to bright light in the evening. Exercise: If you exercise late, you may have trouble falling asleep. Timely exercise, on the other hand, can help you fall asleep, especially when using physical activity as a source of stress relief.
Eat: Eating heavy meals before bedtime can interfere with falling asleep. Every organ of the body has a different internal clock. So, it is usually recommended that a minimum time gap of 2hr should be there between your sleep and dinner. When eating near bedtime, your stomach needs to wake up to produce the digestive enzymes needed to break down your food. And this leads to disturbance of your sleep.
Melatonin is generally safe, but usually not needed. The better approach is to use darkness and let your body know it’s time to sleep.
Can I overdose on melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced by the body but including too much melatonin supplement can disrupt the circadian rhythm (also known as the sleep-wake cycle). It can also lead to some other unwanted side effects like depression, mild tremor, mild anxiety, abdominal cramps, irritability, reduced alertness, confusion or disorientation, and abnormally low blood pressure (hypotension).
Yes, you can technically overdose melatonin. However, melatonin overdose can be difficult to define because there is no official safe standard dose for everyone.
Some people are more sensitive to the effects of melatonin than others. The dose that can cause side effects in one person may have little effect in another. There are a lot of online players in the market that help us with the controlled dosage of melatonin sleep supplements for example: Setu Nutrition, Mayo clinic to name a few.
Infants should avoid melatonin unless directed by a doctor. A dose of 1-5 milligrams (mg) can cause seizures or other complications in infants. For adults, the standard dose used in the study ranges from 1 to 10 mg, but there is currently no definitive “best” dose. A dose in the range of 30 mg is believed to be harmful.
In general, if you get promising results, it’s a good idea to start low and increase the melatonin dose but, carefully. If the problem persists, consult with your doctor again to resolve the issue.