Understanding Melatonin: How Melatonin Can Help Sleep And Bio Time
When I travelwhich I seem to be doing a lot of these daysI use melatonin to help with jet lag .
Jet lag can be complicatedthere are many factors that influence how severely you experience jet lag, including: What is your chronotype? What time zone are you in? Where are you going? What is the direction of travel? What time is your flight?
Based on the answers to these questions, jet lag can affect us all differentlybut it seems to effect almost everyone. With this in mind, lets take an in-depth look at melatonin: the latest research, and how you can use this hormone effectively.
There are a number of hormones in the body that influence sleepbut only one carries the nickname the sleep hormone. Thats melatonin. Melatonin is central to sleep, to our daily cycles of rest and activity, and to the regulation of the bodys bio rhythms. Melatonin plays an essential role in keeping our bodies functioning on our best bio time. This, in turn, has broad effects on our overall health.
Some foods that are part of the Mediterranean diet are high in melatonin, including grapeseeds, tomatoes and bell peppers, and walnuts. The amino acid tryptophan is required for the body to make melatonin. Recent research indicates that eating tryptophan-rich foods may be beneficial for melatonin levels and for sleep.
How does melatonin work?
Disruptions in natural melatonin levels can go hand-in-hand with sleep problems.
Benefits of melatonin
Melatonin: what to know
Melatonin: Benefits Uses Side Effects And Dosage
Melatonin is a common dietary supplement that has gained widespread popularity around the globe.
Though renowned as a natural sleep aid, it also has powerful effects on other aspects of your health.
This article reviews the benefits and potential side effects of melatonin, as well as its best dosage.
Its primarily responsible for regulating your bodys circadian rhythm to manage your natural sleep cycle .
Therefore, its often used as a sleep aid to combat issues like insomnia.
Its widely available in the US as an over-the-counter medication but requires a prescription in other parts of the world, such as Europe and Australia.
In addition to improving sleep, melatonin is also involved in managing immune function, blood pressure and cortisol levels .
Plus, it acts as an antioxidant, with some research finding that it can significantly affect many health conditions.
In fact, studies show that melatonin may improve eye health, reduce symptoms of seasonal depression and even provide relief from acid reflux .
Melatonin is a hormone responsible for regulating your bodys sleep cycle. Its also associated with other health benefits.
When Should You Take Melatonin
A standard recommendation for the best time to take melatonin is about 1-2 hours before you plan to go to sleep. Melatonin can often be useful in remedying the following common situations:
- Insomnia. As stated above, melatonin may decrease the length of time it takes you to fall asleep and in turn improve your sleep efficiency.
- Jet lag. Taking melatonin for a few days prior to your new bedtime when you change time zones can help adjust your circadian rhythm and decrease jet lag symptoms from travel.
- Shift work disorder. When you work night shifts and your sleep schedule does not align with sunrise and sunset, melatonin encourages your body to think its dark outside even when its not.
Recommended Reading: Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover Testosterone Therapy
You Need To Balance Your Melatonin Levels
To avoid lacking sleep and having to live with the adverse effects of sleeplessness, it would be best if you could maintain your circadian rhythm. You have to sleep regularly to keep your body healthy, and you can do so by maintaining the proper melatonin levels when it is sleep time.
But of course, you might be someone who has to work late from time to time as the best of us. So how are you going to maintain regular sleep while keeping up with your responsibilities? The good news is that there are natural ways for you to help your body rebalance your hormones and supplement your melatonin.
Avoid Blue Light Where Possible
Avoid using your computer, smartphone or tablet in the hours before bed. With Ocushield products, you can filter out harmful blue light from screen devices at all times of the day, and further limit its impact on your sleep-wake cycle, along with the potential retinal damage and vision impairment. If you regularly do shift work at night time, blue-blocking lens filters will be especially helpful for allowing you to fall asleep by letting your circadian rhythm adjust to changes in light exposure. You might even be an avid reader who cant find time during the day, so a low blue-light oculamp can help you optimise sleep while keeping the comforts of a good book.
Additional Steps To Improve Sleep
People with sleeping problems can benefit from taking steps to develop healthy sleep habits. Even if melatonin offers relief, improving their sleep routines and environment known collectively as sleep hygiene can promote durable sleep quality improvement.
Talking with a doctor about melatonin and sleeping problems can also help reveal whether a person has an underlying sleep disorder. For example, raising poor sleep issues or excessive sleepiness may uncover a problem like sleep apnea. Melatonin isnt a therapy for sleep apnea, but in this scenario, working with the doctor can lead to more appropriate and effective treatments.
How To Prevent A Melatonin Hangover
If you experience side effects like next-day drowsiness when you take melatonin, does that mean you should never take it? According to Axe, you might be able to try a few adjustments first. To start, he says to avoid taking it in the middle of the night. “After you take melatonin it starts working within about an hour and lasts for about 5 hours in your body, so taking it in the middle of the night isn’t the best idea if you want to wake up with energy,” Axe explains.
“Try taking a low dose to start, taking it about 60 minutes before sleep and skipping continuous release melatonin if this seems to apply to you,” he advises. According to the National Sleep Foundation, a low dose is generally considered 0.5 mg and 5mg is on the higher side.
For those who do take melatonin daily, Axe says it doesn’t hurt to take a break from it every now and then. “It’s typically intended to be taken for short periods of time, such as several weeks or months, but not continuously forever ,” says Axe.
“That being said, it isn’t known to cause dependency, so taking it for longer may not be a problem unless you experience side effects,” he says.
Read Also: Does Nugenix Have An Estrogen Blocker
Use Melatonin To Promote Sleep Onset 2 Hours Before Bedtime
Melatonin, a hormone naturally produced in your body, is generally released as the sun goes down, flipping a switch in the body to initiate a change towards rest and recovery.
Thornes Melaton-3, which contains 3 mg of melatonin per capsule, helps maintain your normal sleep-wake cycle otherwise known as your circadian rhythm.* For individuals who have difficulty sleeping or altered circadian rhythms due to jet lag or night shift work supplementation with melatonin can promote the resynchronization of this cycle.*
An adequate melatonin level is reported to be a decisive factor in cardiovascular, neuroendocrine, and bone health. Research indicates melatonin exerts its sleep-promoting action by decreasing the amount of time it takes to fall asleep, improving the ability to stay asleep, and improving the length of deep sleep.
According to sleep expert Leslie Swanson, Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, smaller doses of melatonin supplements produce similar levels to what the brain produces naturally. Once you go highly above this range, melatonin levels may rise to be 10 times the normal amount that the body produces on its own. This is where the negative side effects of melatonin occasionally come into play according to the NIH, these can include headache, dizziness, nausea and sleepiness experienced the day after use. Swanson notes that a larger dose will not necessarily make the use of the supplement more effective.
How Does Melatonin Help You Sleep
Studies estimate that about 33% of adults worldwide may suffer from insomnia. And while most peoples bodies generate sufficient amounts of the hormone on their own, taking additional melatonin supplements can be useful for many of us who struggle to fall asleep.
Melatonin itself does not actually put you to sleep, it simply alerts your body to the fact that its nighttime so it can get to sleep more easily. It does this by binding with receptors in your body and brain to better allow you to relax, and decrease nerve activity. Melatonin may also reduce your levels of dopamine, a hormone associated with wakefulness.
Recommended Reading: Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover Bioidentical Hormone Therapy
Children And Developmental Problems
Melatonin may also help treat children with various developmental conditions including autism spectrum disorders and ADHD.A review published in 2011 analyzed the findings of 35 studies related to melatonins effect on autism spectrum disorders including Aspergers syndrome and Rett syndrome.
The review concluded that supplementing with melatonin was linked to improvements including better sleep and improved behavior. Importantly, they also found there were very few side effects associated with the supplement.
The Best Source For Melatonin Your Own Body
Melatonin plays an important role in keeping your sleep schedule in line with your circadian rhythm. Getting sleepy at the right time will help you get the sleep you need to maximize your next-day energy levels and perform at your best. But not all melatonin is created equal. You might say that melatonin supplements and the natural melatonin your body makes are as different as night and day.
Supplements may be beneficial in certain situations, but otherwise, you don’t actually need to take melatonin since your body produces it naturally. Plus, the version produced in your own brain is free, and you donât have to worry about side effects, labels, or dosing confusion. To capitalize on its sleep-enhancing power, itâs vital to be strategic about getting light at the right time of day and to go to bed during your Melatonin Window.
Ultimately, whether you take advantage of your body’s natural melatonin or take supplements, it’s all about meeting your sleep need, which is the best thing you can do to achieve your potential each day. The RISE app can help you adopt good sleep hygiene habits so you can meet your sleep need for better daytime energy levels.
Don’t Miss: Nugenix Estro Regulator Side Effects
What To Know Before You Take Melatonin
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated since a version first appeared in the February 2016 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.
I’m a science journalist who writes about health for Consumer Reports. I’m interested in finding the ways that people can transform their health for the better and in calling out the systems, companies, and policies that expose patients to unnecessary harm. As a dad, I spend most of my free time trying to keep up with a toddler, but I also enjoy exploring the outdoors whenever possible. .
How To Get The Best Results
Light is the switch that controls when your brain makes melatonin. When you take a supplement, take care that you donât disrupt its effects with artificial light:
- Avoid your phone and other tech devices that shine brightly in the hours before bed.
- Turn off overhead lights in the evening.
- Bright light in the morning can signal itâs time to wake up.
Study Focuses On Link Between Obstructive Sleep Apnea And Melatonin
While asleep, the human body produces a hormone called melatonin, which regulates how the body relaxes while in a deep sleep. However, a recent study has shown that melatonin production in the body can be affected by obstructive sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea is characterized by the suspension of breathing. With OSA, the upper airway is blocked while the patient is asleep, which causes the patient to not have enough airflow in the body. Because of this, a patient tends to wake up repeatedly overnight, since their breathing is slowed or stopped. This disorder can be dangerous if left untreated. Due to the lack of oxygen and accumulation of carbon dioxide in the blood, obstructive sleep apnea can lead to future cardiac issues. The severity of this condition also depends on how much the airways are obstructed.
While the body is in sleep mode it produces a hormone called melatonin, which is from the brain and regulates the stages of sleep. It is usually produced while the patient is in the fourth stage, and it has also been found to reduce the risk of tumors in breast cancer patents.
Read on to learn more about the effect obstructive sleep apnea has on melatonin production.
How Does Light Affect Melatonin Production And Sleep
Just as darkness prompts the production of melatonin, exposure to light suppresses it. That works out perfectly in the morning, as exposure to sunlight can help you feel more awake as you start your day. But light exposure at night can be problematic, especially in the 90 minutes before bedtime. Using artificial lighting at night can trick your brain into thinking itâs still daytime. Even small amounts of light exposure will inhibit or delay natural melatonin release and make it much more difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep during the night.
Read Also: Estrogen Cream For Lichen Sclerosus
Benefits Of Melatonin For Whoop Members Sleep & Recovery
To better quantify the benefits of melatonin, we examined WHOOP members sleep and recovery data when they report taking it. What we discovered makes a fairly convincing case that it can have a positive effect on your sleep.
On average, taking melatonin positively affects WHOOP members sleep and recovery.
Potential confounding factors were taken into account as well, meaning our analysis controlled for other sleep-promoting behaviors that you might also try when taking melatonin.
Overall we found these numbers were consistent for both men and women, however the benefits of melatonin on both sleep time and recovery diminished with age.
How Does Melatonin Work
When night time comes, our eyes sense a lack of light, and our body naturally triggers the pineal gland to produce melatonin. With high levels of melatonin in our bodies, we feel sleepy and naturally fall into slumber. Then, when daylight comes, our eyes sense bright light. Daylight triggers the pineal gland to stop producing melatonin until the hormones levels on our bodies fall, and we become awake.
The problem is that our modern world exposes us to light all the time. Exposure to blue light in technology and gadgets like house and street lights, smartphones, smart TVs, and more can trick our pineal gland into thinking that its still daytime.
And with constant exposure to light when its already nighttime, our system gets confused. So when your melatonin goes into hormonal imbalance, the situation can lead to sleep disorders. The problem with lack of sleep is that its results go beyond simply being tired all day. Of course, without a good nights rest, your body was unable to restore its lost cells, properly repair its tissues, and do all of its natural therapeutic functions to its maximum potential.
So when you go on without proper sleep, you become susceptible to exacerbated stress, fatigue, and a weak body. When sleeplessness continues for a long time, your immune system may become compromised, and other health problems can come your way.
Recommended Reading: Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover Testosterone Therapy
Side Effects And Risks
Supplementing with melatonin is a simple and low-risk option when it comes to the world of sleep aids and anti-anxiety remedies. Unwanted side effects or adverse events rarely occur, and theyre often mild if they do. Side effects may include headaches, dizziness, nausea, rash, or upset stomach. Additionally, melatonin may interact with blood thinners, blood pressure medication, and other medications that cause sleepiness.
If youre an older adult or you happen to suffer from a medical condition that requires medications such as these, speak with your doctor to determine if melatonin is right for you. They may be able to offer an alternative medication to help you find short-term or long-term relief from anxiety.
Cbd Melatonin Gummies For Sleep: Pass Or Fail
The path of life is full of twists and turns for many, and reaching the destination can be bumpy. It can lead many to lose control of personal and professional lives. The modern century led to an exponential increase in corporate culture unless it became monotonous. Many appreciate a stable income, but many strive for financial freedom. The urge to do more can lead many to a problem in sleeping habits. Once you start turning, there is no end to it. The mind pushes the body more, which results in the physical and mental drain.
Many turn to products that help and facilitate the process of sleeping. The favorite choice seems to be chemical-based products. A survey by Indiatoday shows more than 20% of individuals consume sleeping pills daily. The Pubmed shows that the older one gets, the more they tend to consume sleeping pills. The problem is more imminent in males than females, and the worst affected ones are senior citizens. The study connects the problem of sleep to the physical and mental strain one goes through daily. The lack of sleep can have severe consequences for both mental and physical health.
Recommended Reading: Can Having Your Tubes Tied Cause Hormonal Imbalance