When You Can’t Sleep: Passionflower Or Melatonin
Sleep is essential for an individual’s well-being and healthy immune system. We spend up to one-third of our lives asleep, and there’s a very good reason why. It is often thought that when you close your eyes and drift into sleep, your mind and body powers down. However, this is not the case. In reality, sleep is an active period during which important processing, restoration and strengthening occurs.
One of the most important roles of sleep is to help us consolidate memories. Each day we acquire new information and experiences. These need to be processed and stored. Memories are transferred from our short term memory to our long-term memory. Much of this is done while we sleep.
Sleep also helps us to be more alert, present and feel better overall. Sleep restores and rejuvenates our bodies. Sleep is needed to grow muscle, repair tissue and synthesize hormones. Sleep is essential to help us function physically, mentally and emotionally. Yet, many of us struggle to get a restful sleep. Insomnia and sleep disorders are extremely common in North America. Symptoms of sleep disorders and insomnia may include:
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep
- Fatigue during the day
- Lack of concentration
While symptoms can be debilitating, there are many medications and sleep aids to help sleep disturbances or insomnia. Two popular sleep aids available over-the-counter include passionflower and melatonin.
Myths And Truths Related To Sleep
Stop yawning. Its time to put all the unsound sleep myths to bed.
Myth: Adults Need Five or Fewer Hours of Sleep
Study has shown that adults must get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night.While a minimal number of people estimated at around one in four million are believed to have a genetic mutation that enables these individuals to naturally sleep for shorter periods and still wake up refreshed, these people are the rare exception, not the rule.
Myth: It Does not Matter When You Sleep, As Long As You Sleep Adequate Hours
Studies have shown that sleep timing does matter, and it is best to sleep as much as feasible during hours of darkness.Sleeping at night improves align the bodys circadian rhythm, or internal clock, with its environment. Proper circadian timing is essential for sleep quality which affects mental health, cardiovascular function, metabolism, and other critical overall health elements.
Myth: Your Brain Shuts Down While You Sleep
Your brain remains active during sleep. Though the brains patterns of activity change throughout different sleep stages and in rapid eye movement sleep, brain activity inclines up to a level that shares connections with when you are awake.Shifts in brain activity during sleep are considered to be part of why sleep is critical to effective thinking, memory, and emotional processing.
Myth: Dreams Can Only Happen During REM Sleep
Myth: Napping Can Make Up for Lack of Sleep at Night
Myth: A Warm Bedroom is Best for Sleeping
Does Melatonin Work For Shift Workers
Shift work that involves night shifts may cause people to feel sleepy at work and make it difficult to sleep during the daytime after a shift ends.
According to two 2014 research reviews, studies on whether melatonin supplements help shift workers were generally small or inconclusive.
- The first review looked at 7 studies that included a total of 263 participants. The results suggested that people taking melatonin may sleep about 24 minutes longer during the daytime, but other aspects of sleep, such as time needed to fall asleep, may not change. The evidence, however, was considered to be of low quality.
- The other review looked at 8 studies , with a total of 300 participants, to see whether melatonin helped promote sleep in shift workers. Six of the studies were high quality, and they had inconclusive results. The review did not make any recommendations for melatonin use in shift workers.
Recommended Reading: Can Having Your Tubes Tied Cause Early Menopause
Can I Take Melatonin On A Daily Basis
I want to make this point clear before going any farther: I recommend that everyone consults with their doctor before taking a new supplement or making changes to their medication and supplement routine.
Now to the question at hand: If you get the green light from your doctor, taking a daily dose of melatonin at the recommended milligram levels up to 5 mg per day has been shown to be a safe and effective sleep aid. Again, youll likely want to keep your dosage low when first starting out you can always increase your daily dosage. Also, remember melatonin is a hormone, and with anything hormone-related, youre better off treading lightly at first.
Also, before using melatonin, consider the potential side effects. The most common side effects, according to the Mayo Clinic, include:
Other less common side effects include: Mild anxiety, stomach cramps, disorientation and short-term depression.
When Is The Best Time To Take Melatonin
Melatonin levels rise in the blood around 9 p.m. For many people, this is about one to two hours before bedtime.
Because melatonin isnt a sleeping pill, it might not promote sleep as quickly as other sleep aids. The supplements effects are subtle, gradually inducing tiredness and sleep.
Ideally, you need to take the supplement about two hours before bed. And since the effects of melatonin are triggered by darkness, you need to be in a dimly lit room.
You May Like: Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover Testosterone Therapy
What Are The Side Effects Of Melatonin
Short-term use of melatonin has relatively few side effects and is well-tolerated by the majority of people who take it. The most commonly reported side effects are daytime drowsiness, headaches, and dizziness, but these are experienced by only a small percentage of people who take melatonin.
In children, the reported side effects of short-term use are similar as in adults. Some children may experience agitation or an increased risk of bedwetting when using melatonin.
For both children and adults, talking with a doctor before taking melatonin can help prevent possible allergic reactions or harmful interactions with other medications. People taking anti-epilepsy and blood thinning medications, in particular, should ask their physician about potential drug interactions.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends against melatonin use in people with dementia, and there is little research about its safety in women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
There is also very little data about the long-term effects of melatonin supplements in children or adults. There is some concern that sustained use of melatonin could affect the onset of puberty in children, but research so far is inconclusive. Because the long-term effects are unknown, people should maintain an ongoing conversation with their doctor about using melatonin and the quality of their sleep and overall health.
Use Melatonin Sleep Supplements Wisely And Safely
Less is more, Buenaver says. Take 1 to 3 milligrams two hours before bedtime. To ease jet lag, try taking melatonin two hours before your bedtime at your destination, starting a few days before your trip. You can also adjust your sleep-wake schedule to be in sync with your new time zone by simply staying awake when you reach your destinationdelaying sleep until your usual bedtime in the new time zone. Also, get outside for natural light exposure. Thats what I do, Buenaver says.
Also Check: Can You Take Unisom With Melatonin
Science Backed Benefits Of Melatonin
Like many people I have had trouble sleeping at various stages of my life and have been on a constant lookout for a safe and effective, natural method of getting a better night of sleep. While lifestyle changes, exercise and bedtime procedures can be a great help, some people need extra help to get a good night of sleep. melatonin is one of the most effective supplements to encourage sleep but it has a great deal of other proven health benefits. According to a growing body of research into the supplement, melatonin may help combat symptoms of menopause, relieve pain and benefit your heart and immune health.
When To See A Doctor
Prolonged sleep disorders and issues are bad for health and function in many ways.
If sleep issues continue long-term or worsen, be sure to see your doctor. A medical professional can recommend treatment methods specific to your needs. Your health is important!
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Supplements melatonin, a hormone found naturally in the body
-Created in partnership with Nature Made
Recommended Reading: Does Tubal Ligation Cause Early Menopause
What Is Melatonin And What Does Melatonin Do
Alright, letâs get technical. Sleep is a process that is controlled by two main mechanisms: circadian rhythms and the homeostatic sleep drive. Melatonin is a part of the sleep process! It is a hormone made by the pineal gland, which is a small gland in your brain. Your pineal gland naturally produces the melatonin neurohormone every day to help regulate the circadian clock tucked away in your brain. Essentially, melatonin helps control your sleep and wake cycles. It can be found in foods such as meats, grains, fruits, and vegetables as well as in melatonin supplements.
How The Ups And Downs Of Melatonin Affect Your Snooze Time
A hormone thats made by the pineal gland in the brain, melatonin helps control your daily sleep-wake cycles. Your bodys internal clock influences how much melatonin the pineal gland makes, and so does the amount of light that you’re exposed to each day. Typically, melatonin levels start to rise in the mid-to-late evening, after the sun has set. They stay elevated for most of the night while youre in the dark. Then, they drop in the early morning as the sun rises, causing you to awaken.
Make Sure You Are Getting What The Label Says
Before you buy melatonin, its important to make sure you are getting it from a reputable place. The F.D.A. does not regulate supplements, Dr. Kolla said. So youre trusting the manufacturer in terms of the dosing.
A 2017 study in the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that the melatonin content of dietary supplements often varies widely from what is listed on the label. The study found that even within the same batch of product, variability of the melatonin varied by as much as 465 percent.
Without governmental oversight, there really isnt a way to ensure the levels of melatonin advertised on the package are accurate. Therefore, Dr. Kolla recommends looking for a GLP or GMP label on the product. Both labels refer to federal regulations designed to affirm a product has the quality and purity that appear on its label. He says this provides some assurance that you are getting close to what the label says youre getting.
Insomnia Issues Try These Healthy Sleep Tricks First
“If you struggle with insomnia, we always recommend nonmedication treatments first,” says Dr. Hill Bowman. “Getting a good night’s sleep requires healthy routines that get your body prepped for it. We also discuss a behavior health referral because speaking with a health therapist or counselor can offer excellent techniques that can improve sleep quality.”
Try these healthy habits to help you get a good night’s rest:
- Stick to a standard time for bed and time to get up every day
- Incorporate a calming bedtime routine to prepare your body and mind for sleep
- Ditch all electronic devices an hour before bedtime, as they may suppress the body’s natural release of melatonin
- Invest in a comfortable bed, reserved for sleeping
- Create a dark, cool and relaxed environment
- Exercise during the day, preferably earlier in the day
- Stop caffeine intake after lunch
- Get exposure to daytime light
While we may be tempted to reach for a quick fix to get those needed ZZZs, start with healthy sleep habits first. Melatonin can be a viable option to help you get back on track in the short term, but if your sleep disturbances become chronic, talk with your doctor about all your options.
Have trouble sleeping?800.922.0000
Contains Prolamine That Reduces Anxiety
Prolamine has a high amino acid content which can lead to better sleep and improved sleep quality. For oats, avenin and trigonelline are the main prolamines present, which contain high-quality protein. This slow-digesting protein makes oats a great food to eat before bed as they increase your serotonin levels, reducing anxiety.
The complex carbohydrates and prolamine levels in oatmeal produce tryptophan – an amino acid that boosts serotonin levels in your body. Eating oatmeal before bed will decrease anxiety and stress, improving your sleep quality by keeping you relaxed in bed, ensuring a better sleep at night.
Skip Melatonin For Sleep If
Do not use melatonin if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or have an autoimmune disorder, a seizure disorder or depression. Talk to your health care provider if you have diabetes or high blood pressure. Melatonin supplements may also raise blood-sugar levels and increase blood pressure levels in people taking some hypertension medications.
Sign Up for Our Free Newsletter
One of the best things you can do to protect and improve your health is to stay informed. Your Health is a FREE e-newsletter that serves as your smart, simple connection to the world-class expertise of Johns Hopkins.
You May Like: Does Kaiser Cover Hrt
Can Melatonin Treat Insomnia
Even though melatonin can regulate your bodys sleep cycle, the big question is whether it can treat insomnia.
The short answer is yes, although its effectiveness on insomnia can vary from person-to-person.
One study published in 2016 in the Indian Journal of Palliative Care evaluated the effect of oral melatonin in cancer patients dealing with insomnia. It found that taking the supplement two hours before bedtime improved both sleep induction and the quality of sleep. So the supplement doesnt only help with falling asleep, it can help you stay asleep throughout the night.
Melatonin doesnt only help with insomnia. It can also help with jet lag and circadian rhythm disorders, like delayed or advanced sleep phase disorders and sleep shift work disorders, notes Dean.
Lack Of Sleep Impedes High Performance
Sleep deprivation leads to a decline in alertness, reaction time, and the ability to store memories. Sleep deprivation can also lead to a decrease in immune function and a reduction in the release of growth hormones, as well as the hormones leptin and adiponectin both of which have roles in fat gain and loss.
Consistent lack of sleep is also associated with long-term health issues such as weight gain, stroke risk, and various chronic illnesses. On the other hand, additional research shows that consistently good sleep quality can have a significant positive impact on active performance.
Short Sleep Duration and Weight Gain: A Systematic Review. Source: Penn State University
Even if you are not a regular active athlete, these findings directly translate into whatever you decide to pursue in your daily life higher quality sleep can play a direct role in making you sharper and more resilient in your career, in your role as a parent, or as a friend, etc. Prioritizing sleep and maintaining a consistent sleep cycle might be the slight difference that you need to make a necessary healthy lifestyle change, put in the extra hours for a promotion or take on a new challenge.
Sign up for more sleep tips
You May Like: Does Blue Cross Blue Shield Cover Testosterone
Does Melatonin Help With Cancer Symptoms
Studies of the effect of melatonin supplements on cancer symptoms or treatment-related side effects have been small and have had mixed results.
Keep in mind that unproven products should not be used to replace or delay conventional medical treatment for cancer. Also, some products can interfere with standard cancer treatments or have special risks for people whoâve been diagnosed with cancer. Before using any complementary health approach, including melatonin, people whoâve been diagnosed with cancer should talk with their health care providers to make sure that all aspects of their care work together.
Use Magnesium To Help You Stay Asleep
While many regular users of melatonin report falling asleep with ease, some people experience frequent and early waking as the body enters the second phase of sleep. Supporting this all-important second phase of sleep – what we like to call the bridge to deep sleep – is where our cultivated bundle of products truly shines.
Magnesium acts as a cofactor in more than 600 of the bodys enzymatic reactions some of which are associated with sleep. An estimated 75% of American adults fail to achieve the recommended daily intake of magnesium, and studies suggest that strenuous exercise increases the need for magnesium by as much as 20%.
Magnesium relaxes smooth and skeletal muscle, supports normal blood flow, and is a cofactor with many enzymes necessary for ATP production.
In addition, magnesium binds to neurotransmitter receptors, such as gamma-aminobutyric acid , that are responsible for slowing down nerve activity at night.
A study of older adults in which half reported some form of difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep showed that supplementation with magnesium had a significant positive impact on sleep time, sleep quality, and melatonin concentration.
Not all forms of magnesium are created equal, Thornes Magnesium CitraMate provides an easy-to-digest form of the mineral without GI side effects common with other forms of magnesium.
Read Also: Tubal Ligation Cause Early Menopause
Excellent Source Of Melatonin And Vitamin D
Oatmeal is also a good source of vitamin D and melatonin, both of which are directly responsible for ensuring better sleep. Melatonin is a hormone that helps to regulate your body’s internal clock and lets your brain know when it is time to wind down.
The production of melatonin can be triggered by an array of things, from being in a dark room to eating certain foods. Oats can help to trigger your body’s production of melatonin, making you feel more tired and ready for bed.
Vitamin D is also fundamental for reducing sleep problems and improving sleep quality. Oatmeal contains a significant amount of vitamin D, making it one of the best foods for improving how long you are staying asleep!