Oral supplements can bring melatonin levels in the blood to levels much higher than is normally produced by the body.
Not getting enough shut-eye? If that's the case, melatonin supplements might be worth looking into. Melatonin is a hormone our bodies produce naturally to help with regular sleep patterns and improve slumber quality. In this blog post, we'll explore what melatonin is in more detail, how it benefits us, and the health advantages associated with taking supplements.
What is Melatonin, and How Does it Work?
It is a hormone produced by your body in response to darkness. It regulates your circadian rhythm, also known as your body clock or sleep-wake cycle. As light levels drop in the evening, your body begins secreting more melatonin so that you become relaxed and sleepy. When morning comes around, melatonin production tapers off, so you are ready for the day ahead.
For those with difficulty sleeping or those who don't produce enough melatonin naturally, supplementing with an additional dose of it can help reset their body's internal clock and make it easier to fall asleep at night or wake up feeling refreshed during the day.
What Can Melatonin Prevent?
Researchers have studied how melatonin supplements can benefit people with insomnia or other sleep latency disorders. In addition to helping reset one's internal clock and promote better overall quality of sleep, taking a daily dose of melatonin can also reduce stress levels, improve moods, regulate hormones, and boost immunity. Furthermore, recent studies have shown that taking a regular dose of melatonin may even reduce inflammation throughout the body and help protect against cognitive decline associated with aging.
Jet lag results from an imbalance between your internal clock and the local time at your destination, causing fatigue, disorientation, and insomnia while traveling long distances across multiple time zones. Taking melatonin supplements can help reset your internal clock by mimicking natural melatonin production and allowing your body to adjust quickly to new schedules.
Delayed Sleep-Wake Phase Disorder (DSWPD)
DSWPD is a disorder characterized by difficulty sleeping during normal hours due to an inability of the body's internal clock to sync up with external cues like daylight or regular waking times. Taking melatonin supplements can help people with DSWPD fall asleep earlier so they can adhere more closely to their desired sleep schedule without feeling excessively tired during the day.
Some Sleep Disorders in Children
The first signs of insomnia in children make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night. Fortunately, melatonin has been found to be an effective way of helping these kids get a better night's sleep.
A study published in Pediatrics found that taking melatonin for sleep problems significantly improved sleep quality among children with autism spectrum disorders who had difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night. Furthermore, no serious side effects were associated with taking this supplement, making it a safe option to improve sleep in children with chronic insomnia. (Always speak with your doctor).
Anxiety Before and After Surgery
For most people, surgery is a routine and relatively safe procedure. Although the hours and days leading up to it can be anxiety-inducing for patients. In some cases, this anxiety can be so severe that it interferes with the patient's ability to sleep. This is where melatonin supplements can be helpful. Melatonin is a hormone that helps to regulate the body's sleep-wake cycle, and taking a supplement can help to promote drowsiness and jet lag.
Additionally, research has shown that role of melatonin is essential in reducing anxiety levels before surgery. Patients who take a melatonin supplement before surgery may be less likely to experience anxiety and may find it easier to get a good night's sleep.
Can Melatonin Help With Insomnia?
According to a recent Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine study, melatonin supplements may help those suffering from insomnia. For the study, researchers recruited subjects who reported experiencing difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. The subjects were given either a placebo or a melatonin supplement an hour before bedtime for two weeks. The results showed that those who took the melatonin for sleep, fall asleep significantly faster and slept longer than those who took the placebo. In addition, the usage of melatonin in the children group reported feeling more rested upon waking up. These findings suggest that it may be an effective treatment for insomnia.
The Science Behind Melatonin for Shift Workers
Working the night shift can be tough on the body. Not only does it mean sleeping during the day, but it can also lead to reduced alertness and decreased productivity on the job. As a result, many night shift workers turn to melatonin supplements to help them sleep during the day. But does it work?
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine notes that melatonin supplements can help night shift workers sleep during the day. However, this does not necessarily lead to better alertness during the work shift. Melatonin supplements might have a few side effects, but they're nothing serious.
It will not make you fall asleep immediately or fix all your sleep issues, but it could be worth giving melatonin a chance if you struggle to sleep during the day.
Is it Safe to Take Melatonin?
This medication is typically safe when taken in the correct dosage amount. However, it can cause:
Some uncommon side effects might include feelings of depression that go away quickly, a mild tremor, only slight anxiety, abdominal cramps, being easily annoyed or irritated, and reduced ability to be alert and pay attention. Because it can make a person drowsy during the day, do not drive or use machinery within five hours after taking the supplement. Do not take this product if you have an autoimmune disease.
The Best Natural Sleep Supplements Reviewed
Nature's Harmony Liquid Melatonin 3mg
If you're looking for a dosage of melatonin that comes in liquid form, Nature's Harmony 3mg Liquid Melatonin Sugar-Free may be the best option for you. It is also difficult to swallow pills, making this product an ideal choice. Additionally, it provides relief from insomnia and has a wild fruit flavour.
- Who it may be best for: people who prefer liquid melatonin
- Melatonin per serving: 3 mg
Natural Factors Melatonin (5mg)
This product contains 5mg of melatonin per serving to help with sleep problems. It is formulated with no added sugar, flavours, or sweeteners and comes in a vegetable-based capsule. Natural Factors Melatonin also helps your body reset its internal clock so you can feel refreshed and alert.
- Who it may be best for: people seeking relief from insomnia or jet lag
- Melatonin per serving: 5 mg
Sisu Melatonin (10mg)
Sisu Melatonin is a higher-dose supplement that contains 10mg of melatonin per serving. It is sugar, flavours, or sweeteners FREE and comes in an easy-to-swallow capsule. It is also vegan-friendly and gluten-free to help meet dietary restrictions.
- Who it may be best for: people seeking relief from jet lag or who need a higher dose of melatonin
- Melatonin per serving: 10 mg
Nature's Way Melatonin 2.5mg (60 gummies)
Nature's Way 2.5 mg Melatonin Gummies are a great option if you don't like the idea of swallowing capsules. These gummies contain 2.5mg of melatonin per serving and come in a delicious raspberry flavour. They are vegan-friendly and gluten-free to help meet dietary restrictions.
- Who it may be best for: people who prefer gummies over capsules
- Melatonin per serving: 2.5 mg
Prairie Naturals Liquid Sleep Solution (500ml)
Prairie Naturals Liquid Sleep Solution is a lower-dose natural sleep aid. Their sugar-free, flavourless, and unsweetened formula is perfect for those who want the benefits of our product without any unwanted extras. This product is liquid for easy use and can be taken before bed to help you sleep better throughout the night.
- Who it may be best for: people who prefer liquid melatonin or a lower dose
- Melatonin per serving: 500 ml