Are you searching for the best melatonin supplement for effective sleep support? You are not alone. What does melatonin have to do with sleep? Let’s examine this little hormone’s magical properties.
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone that is produced in the human body to aid in relaxation and sleep. It is a regulator of our circadian rhythms, better known as the sleep-wake cycle. Small amounts of the hormone are found in foods: some meats, grains, fruits, and vegetables. Outside of the natural world, you can buy it as a supplement in your local health stores; online it is also widely available.
Melatonin is made by the pineal gland, a small gland in the brain. What the hec is our pineal gland? Find out here.
What does Natural Melatonin do in the body?
Our bodies have internal clocks that control the natural cycle of sleeping and waking hours. On a part-time level, your body clock controls how much melatonin your body makes. Typically, melatonin levels begin to rise in the mid to late evening hours and will remain high for most of the night, dropping back down in the early morning hours or upon the first sense of “lightness”.
Light affects how much melatonin your body produces, so be mindful of your body’s “light” intake. During those shorter, dark days of the winter months, your body may produce melatonin either earlier or later in the day than it usually does. If left unchecked, this kind of change can lead to symptoms of depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in winter months.
Why is melatonin used as a dietary supplement?
Melatonin supplements are sometimes used to normalize the sleep wake cycle, treat jet lag or sleep problems such as insomnia. The medical world continually looks at other good uses for melatonin, such as:
- Treating seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
- Aiding in management of sleep patterns for people who work night shifts.
- Prevention of or reduction in problems with too much sleeping and/or experiencing confusion post surgery.
- Reduction in chronic “cluster” headaches.
Is taking a melatonin dietary supplement safe?
In most cases, the best melatonin supplement will be a lower dose (5mg or less). Melatonin is generally safe in low doses for short-term and long-term use. But be sure to talk with your doctor prior to taking them. Children and pregnant or nursing women should not take melatonin until they have consulted with a physician.*
Even the best melatonin supplement can have side effects. If you do experience any effects, have no fear! They will go away when you stop taking the supplement. Some common side effects are:
- Feeling Sleepy
- Lowered body temperature
- Clear, vivid dreams
- Morning foggy or groggy head
- Minor changes in blood pressure
NOTE: If melatonin makes you feel drowsy, do not drive or operate machinery while you are using it.*
During doctor visits, talk with your physician about your melatonin use. If you are considering supplementation, tell your doctor if you are having trouble sleeping. It may be related to a medical problem and further testing may be required.
In adults, melatonin doses can range from 0.2 mg to 20.0 mg, based on the reason for its use. The right dose can vary widely from one person to another due to the fact that every person will respond differently to supplement use. Talk with your doctor to learn the right dosage and most importantly, to find out if melatonin is right for you.*
Should Older Adults use Melatonin?
Natural melatonin levels slowly drop with age. Some older adults make very small amounts of it or none at all. As a result, supplementation for many older adults greatly aids in proper sleep and relaxation regulation.*
When Should you NOT take Melatonin?
If you can’t sleep because of issues like stress, depression or anxiety take heed; melatonin may not work in those cases because the problem doesn’t lie with the body’s ability to make its own melatonin. You may benefit from practicing yoga, meditation or Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) to calm your body and distract, or even retrain your brain.*
How should I take Melatonin?
Take your melatonin supplement approximately 90 minutes before you plan to go to sleep. This duration of time allows the melatonin to “sink in” properly in your body. For example, your brain recognizes the melatonin you took and this acceptance by the body and subsequent absorption makes you feel sleepy.
Before bedtime, it is very beneficial to keep the lights down. Turn off a nearby television or computer at least 30 minutes prior to bed, as light exposure actually inhibits your body from using its own natural melatonin.
Finally, if you are having continual sleep trouble, it never hurts to start with learning lifestyle changes to sleep better before taking a hormone supplement.*
Where can you find the best melatonin supplement?
You can buy melatonin supplements without a prescription at health food stores, drugstores, and online. Melatonin should only be taken in its man-made form. Source Naturals Melatonin is a high quality product available for purchase here.
Click here for more information about Source Naturals Melatonin.