Melatonin: The Magic Sleep Aid?
The use of melatonin (also known as 5-MTHF) has been increasing over the years. It was first discovered in the 1930’s, but it wasn’t until the 1980’s that its true potential became apparent. Melatonin is one of those “magic” substances that have been proven to improve health and well being in many ways. Some studies show that melatonin may even prevent cancer!
What Is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone produced by the pineal gland located at the base of your brain. It is responsible for regulating body temperature, growth and development, sexual function, sleep cycles and other functions. Melatonin levels are normally low during the day time, but increase dramatically at night when they become active. It is thought that melatonin helps regulate our circadian rhythms which control various physiological processes such as appetite and metabolism.
How Does Melatonin Help Me?
Melatonin is used to treat several different conditions including insomnia, jet lag, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), depression, obesity and diabetes. It has also been shown to boost mood and reduce anxiety. Melatonin has also been found to enhance memory formation in mice. Studies have shown that melatonin can decrease blood pressure and heart rate in humans. There are some reports that melatonin may even protect against Alzheimer’s disease.
What Are The Side Effects?
Fortunately, melatonin seems to have very few, if any, side effects. In general, it is considered to be very safe with few, if any, reports of serious adverse effects when taken at recommended dosages. Some people who take melatonin experience drowsiness or slight headaches. Melatonin can also interact with other herbs or medicines so you should always consult with your doctor before taking it. Pregnant women should not take melatonin.
How Does Melatonin Affect Sleep?
Melatonin helps to establish the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle, or circadian rhythm. It does this by synchronizing the body’s internal clock, which responds to the changing levels of light and darkness in each day. When taken in appropriate dosages, melatonin can help people fall asleep more quickly and improve sleep quality.
How Do I Pick A Good Melatonin Supplement?
It is important to note that not all melatonin supplements are created equally. In fact, many melatonin supplements are nothing more than over-priced placebos. Some of the most recommended melatonin supplements include those made by Lundbeck, NAT, and NOW. You should always check to see that you are buying a brand name product and that it is reputable.
How Much Should I Take?
The recommended dosage of melatonin is 0.3mg to 0.5mg. Some people may need a higher dose, but it is important to increase melatonin slowly to determine what works best for you. Taking more than the recommended dose can be dangerous and increase the incidence of side effects. Also, do not take more than 1mg per day.
What Are The Best Time To Take Melatonin?
It is important to take melatonin at the same time every day. Since it helps regulate your body’s internal clock, taking it at different times can disrupt your sleep cycle. If you take melatonin in the morning, it can help you fall asleep at night. If you take melatonin in the evening, it can help you sleep more soundly during the day. However, only use for a few days before going to see your doctor.
Where Can I Buy Melatonin?
Melatonin is available without a prescription in most countries. It is commonly available from health, sleep, and drug stores either over-the-counter or behind the pharmacy counter. There are also numerous melatonin products you can buy online. To make sure you are buying a quality product, always look for a brand name that you recognize and buy from a reputable website or store.
What Is The Right Dosage For Me?
The correct dosage of melatonin largely depends on your reason for taking it. Most people use melatonin as a sleep aid and take between 0.3mg and 5mg before bedtime. NOTE: Taking more than 20mg will not increase the effect and may cause drowsiness the next day.
How Does It Compare To Other Sleep Aids?
Melatonin is an alternative to over-the-counter (OTC) sleep aids like Benadryl. It is a better option for people who do not want to deal with the drowsy side effects of traditional OTC sleep aids. However, it does not knock you out like Benadryl does, so it may take a little longer for you to fall asleep.