May Reduce Symptoms Of Tinnitus
Tinnitus is a condition characterized by a constant ringing in the ears. Its often worse when theres less background noise, such as when youre trying to fall asleep.
Interestingly, researchers recommend considering taking melatonin to help reduce symptoms of significant tinnitus and help you get to sleep .
In one study, 61 adults with tinnitus took 3 mg of melatonin before bed for 30 days. It helped reduce the effects of tinnitus and significantly improved sleep quality .
What About Dependence As A Melatonin Side Effect
Unlike many prescription sleeping pills or anti-anxiety agents, melatonin does not appear to cause withdrawal symptoms when stopped. The authors of the review of melatonin state:
melatonin is neither physiologically nor psychologically addictive.
A study of melatonin PR was published in the journal Drugs & Aging . It concluded:
In 3-week and 6-month, randomized, double-blind clinical trials in patients with primary insomnia aged 55 years, melatonin PR 2 mg 1-2 h before bedtime was associated with significant improvements relative to placebo in many sleep and daytime parameters, including sleep quality and latency, morning alertness and health-related quality of life. Melatonin PR 2 mg was very well tolerated in clinical trials in older patients, with a tolerability profile that was similar to that of placebo. Short- or longer-term treatment with melatonin PR 2 mg was not associated with dependence, tolerance, rebound insomnia or withdrawal symptoms.
Side Effects Of Melatonin: 8 Groups Should Avoid Taking Melatonin
September 28, 2020// by Terry Cralle//
Melatonin, also known as the hormone of darkness is a hormone responsible for the regulation of your sleep-wake cycle. However, promoting and regulating sleep is only one of its physiological functions.
This hormone plays an important role in bodily functions, the functions of organs like the kidney or liver, and helps regulate blood pressure and cardiovascular issues. Melatonin is also shown useful in cases of tumors and cancers, where it prevents oxidative stress to promote the growth of cancerous cells.
Now, all of this sounds rather impressive, and sure enough, because melatonin is a naturally produced hormone coming from the very brain, no one would suspect it harmful. However, melatonin supplements, on the other hand, are raising some eyebrows in the medical community.
Over the past few years, melatonin supplements have been studied concerning their possible side effects. Turns out, melatonin intake can cause a dozen of adverse effects, which can pose a long-term danger. In the following paragraphs, well take a look at the major side effects, every melatonin producing company would hide from you. So, lets get started!
How Sun Exposure Affects Sleep And Melatonin Production
In recent articles, I have discussed the importance of sleeping in a completely dark room with no ambient light to support the maximum production of melatonin.
Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland, and it is MUCH more than just a sleep hormone.
Like the janitor who comes in at night to clean the floors and wash the windows, melatonin is the bodys most powerful detoxification and rejuvenation agent.
While the role melatonin plays in our health is still not fully understood, studies suggest that without a good dose of daily sun exposure, we do not produce optimal levels of melatonin. Sadly, modern humans are getting too much light at night and not bright enough light during the day.
In one study conducted in sunny San Diego, an average, middle-class, middle-aged adult spent less than 4% of their time outdoors, and much of that time was spent in their car. People in less sunny climates generally spend more time indoors. Unfortunately, shift workers are only exposed to the bright light that we need for optimal health for 2.6% of their waking hours.
In the winter, people spend most of their time indoors in front of televisions, playing video games, on computers or screens of any kind, resulting in a dangerous drop in melatonin production.
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Path To Improved Health
Most people take melatonin to help treat sleep disorders. The most common one is insomnia, which is difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep. You also can take it to help prevent or treat jet lag. The typical adult dose ranges from 0.3 mg to 5 mg at bedtime. Lower doses often work as well as higher doses.
Read the directions on the pill bottles label. These will tell you how much melatonin to take and how often to take it. If you have questions about how to take melatonin, call your doctor or pharmacist. Dont take more than the recommended amount. Taking more melatonin doesnt make it work quicker or better. Overdosing on any medicine can be dangerous.
Keep a record of all medicines and supplements you take and when you take them. Take this list with you when you go to the doctor. Ask your doctor if its okay to take melatonin if:
- You take other prescription or OTC medicines.
- You have ongoing health problems.
- Youre pregnant or breastfeeding. Its unclear what effect melatonin can have on an unborn baby or nursing infant.
Store melatonin out of reach and sight of children. Keep medicines and supplements in a cool, dry place. This helps prevent them from becoming less effective before they expire. Dont store them in bathrooms, which are often hot and humid.
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Melatonin Dosage For Children
Short-term use of melatonin in small doses appears to be safe and well-tolerated by most children. The effective dosage for children ranges from 0.05 milligrams per kilogram to 5 milligrams of melatonin. When children experience side effects from taking melatonin, theyre typically mild and may include:
Medical professionals may recommend melatonin for children with conditions that affect their sleep, such as insomnia, autism spectrum disorder, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Several studies have shown melatonin supplements can significantly improve overall sleep times by 25 minutes to 48 minutes, on average, for children with these conditions.
However, there havent been enough studies of melatonin in children for experts to determine an official recommended dosage or any potential long-term safety risks. Since melatonin is a hormone, its possible that taking supplemental melatonin could affect other aspects of hormone development in children, but further research is needed.
If your child is having sleep problems, experts recommend consulting your doctor before giving them melatonin. Research indicates that for half of the cases where melatonin was used to treat pediatric insomnia, better sleep habits were just as effective at relieving the childs sleep problems.
How Can I Adjust My Melatonin Levels
The best way to boost your melatonin levels naturally is by getting enough regular sleep, eating regular meals and avoiding caffeine and nicotine. Avoiding bright lights can also help.
Watching TV or using tablets, smartphones, laptops or other electronic devices before bed can make it more difficult to fall asleep. The artificial blue light from these types of devices suppresses the release of melatonin.
If your levels are too high , you can go out into the light in the morning and do some exercise in the evening.
Melatonin pills are available in Australia. Currently, you need a prescription from your doctor for melatonin. From June 2021, a form of melatonin will be available from pharmacies without a prescription for people aged over 55.
There are 2 ways to use melatonin pills. The first is to take them so you feel sleepy and fall asleep more easily. It normally takes about 20 minutes to start to feel sleepy after you take the melatonin. Discuss the best way to do this with your doctor.
The other way is to help re-set your body clock. Take the pill around bedtime in the time zone you are travelling to. It works better if you combine it with bright light therapy going outdoors into the light during the morning.
Its important to talk to your doctor about how to take melatonin safely:
There are also ways to help children to sleep better without using melatonin.
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How To Take Melatonin
If youre considering trying melatonin, starting with a lower-dose supplement is recommended. However, its important to talk with a healthcare professional before adding over-the-counter melatonin to your treatment regimen.
For instance, start with 0.5 mg or 1 mg 30 minutes before going to bed. If that does not seem to help you fall asleep, try increasing your dose to 35 mg.
Taking more melatonin than this likely will not help you fall asleep faster. The goal is to find the lowest dose thatll help you fall asleep.
However, its best to follow the instructions that come with your supplement.
Melatonin is widely available in the United States. Youll need a prescription for melatonin in other places, such as the European Union and Australia.
If you want to try melatonin, start with 0.5 mg or 1 mg 30 minutes before bed. If that does not work, try increasing it to 35 mg or follow the instructions on the supplement. If youre considering melatonin supplementation, talk with a healthcare professional first to find out if its right for you and whether there are any medication interactions.
The effectiveness of melatonin in children and adolescents is still being investigated.
One literature review looked at seven trials of melatonin use in this population.
Overall, it found that children receiving melatonin as a short-term treatment had a better sleep onset than the children receiving a placebo. This means that it took them less time to fall asleep .
Seasonal Variation In Other Hormones: Melatonin
Melatonin is a pineal hormone released in circadian and seasonal patterns in many vertebrates. In amphibians , the retina produces melatonin as well in particularly high levels and may contribute significantly to circulating levels of this hormone . Amphibian melatonin cycles are the same as in other vertebrates, with high levels at night and higher levels in winter, when the dark phase is longer, than in summer . In ectotherms temperature is another potent regulator of seasonal melatonin patterns . Melatonin has been found to regulate reproduction in many animals , including courtship behavior, gonadal physiology, and sex steroid hormone concentrations in some ectothermic vertebrates . Experimental manipulation of melatonin levels in frogs, so far only in males, has failed to find any effect of melatonin on circulating testosterone . This suggests that the seasonal decline in testosterone that occurs as frogs move out of the breeding season is not due to the increasing level or nightly duration of melatonin that occurs in the winter, nonbreeding season.
Figure 4. Number of melatonin type 1 receptor immunoreactive cells in the nucleus accumbens of male and female green treefrogs in summer and winter. Overall numbers are significantly higher in the summer, when a significant sex difference is also apparent.
Jorge H. Daruna, in, 2012
Melatonin Side Effects In Children
The most common melatonin side effect in children is morning drowsiness. Other common side effects in children include:
- Possible increased risk for seizures in children with severe neurological disorders.
Dietary melatonin supplements can still have drug interactions or health risks if you have certain medical conditions, upcoming surgery, or other health concerns.
Who Can Take Melatonin
The following issues can benefit from taking melatonin supplements:
- Jetlag: Travelling across multiple time zones gives you jetlag and disturbs your sleep pattern.
- Shift work sleep disorder: Shift work disorder can be caused by working night shifts, rotating shifts, or even an early morning shift. This leads to sleep deprivation and the inability to fall asleep when you need to.
- Insomnia: Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep
- Delayed sleep phase disorder : You cannot fall asleep fast, so you end up staying awake beyond midnight and find it difficult waking up early in the morning when you need to.
Doctors have also recommended melatonin supplements for the following conditions:
- Sleep disorders and certain developmental and behavioral disorders in children
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Is Synthetic Melatonin Effective
Furthermore, synthetic melatonins effectiveness as a sleep aid is questionable. In an extensive review by researchers from the University of Alberta prepared for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 932 studies on melatonin since 1999 were analyzed. They found 132 qualified as offering clear results with good protocols. The study concluded that supplemental melatonin was:
Not effective for treatment of most primary sleep disorders
Not effective in treating most secondary sleep disorders
Offered no evidence of effectiveness for jet lag and shift-worker disorders
The study noted that there was some evidence suggesting supplemental melatonin might be helpful for delayed sleep phase syndrome. This is, as mentioned earlier, when a person is falling asleep later each night. In other words, supplemental melatonin has not proved to be significantly helpful for insomnia and most other sleep disorders.
This research also revealed that the effects of endogenous melatonin are significantly different from exogenous melatonin. There was clear evidence from a number of studies that naturally stimulating the bodys production melatonin resulted in better sleep quality, positive sleep cycle changes, and the reinforcement of core body temperatures aiding sound sleep. Naturally secreted melatonin levels, as we will detail later, can be stimulated through light therapy and circadian adjustment, for which safety is without question.
Does Food Contain Melatonin
A study published in Food and Nutrition Research notes that certain food products do contain various amounts of melatonin as measured by immunological and chromatographic laboratory techniques. How consumption of these various foods might affect endogenous production sleep or was not evaluated:
- Wine, beer
- Cows milk
Research finds that melatonin synthesis depends upon availability of the essential amino acid tryptophan, a needed component of the diet. If intake of tryptophan is severely restricted, synthesis of melatonin is significantly reduced in humans.
In the Nurses Health Study, no link was found between the consumption of various nutrients, such as folate, vitamin B6 and zinc and increased urinary excretion.
Diets rich in vegetables, fruits and grain products will contain considerable levels of dietary melatonin. The overall effect of dietary consumption on nighttime levels of melatonin is very limited. Melatonin production is primarily driven by the effects of light and darkness and by age, declining as we get older.
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Other Benefits Of Melatonin:
There is some suggestion that melatonin may reduce the severity of essential hypertension and should be more widely considered. This was reported in the Annals of Medicine . The authors also suggest it may be helpful for patients suffering from heart failure.
There has been some research to suggest that women with low melatonin levels may be at increased risk for breast cancer. Ditto for men and prostate cancer. Whether supplementing with external melatonin will lower the risk for these tumors is yet to be proven.
Also up for consideration are claims that melatonin might help moderate tinnitus symptoms . There have also been claims that this hormone could help ease symptoms of overactive bladder. We would like to see better research before recommending melatonin for such purposes.
Contraindications Interactions Precautions And Side Effects
Melatonin can produce sleepiness if given during the day. Additional, side effects that have been documented upon melatonin supplementation including cramps of stomach, vertigo, a continuous pain in the head, touchiness, moodiness, reduced sexual desire, enlargement of breast in the men and reduction in the count of sperm.
So, melatonin should not take during operating machine or drive. Further, melatonin could interrupt with human fertility and also melatonin should be not used for pregnant or nursing women. Utilization of melatonin by person who already have an augmentation level of melatonin as children, teenagers, pregnant and lactating women can result in melatonin overdose. MAOI drugs inhibit melatonin breakdown from the body, so people should not take melatonin with these drugs to prevent melatonin overdose.
Melatonin causes drugdrug interaction with antidepressants, such as Prozac or Nardil . Melatonin Interaction with these kinds of drugs can produce heart attack, confusion, sweating, shaking, and fever, lack of coordination, elevated blood pressure, diarrhea, and convulsions .
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What Is The Role Of Melatonin
Melatonin controls the bodys sleeping and waking cycles. It is also claimed that melatonin is an antioxidant that can boost the immune system and prevent ageing and cancer. But these claims arent proven.
Taken in pill form, melatonin can re-set the body clock and help you sleep and wake at the right times. This can help if you have travelled overseas and have jet lag if you do shift work or if you are vision-impaired. It can help you fall asleep more quickly and stay asleep for longer.
Unlike sleeping pills, melatonin shouldnt make you feel sleepy the next day and you arent likely to become dependent on it.
Summary Melanin Vs Melatonin
In brief, melanin and melatonin are two chemicals present in our body. Melanin is a pigment while melatonin is a hormone while amino acids are the precursor of both these molecules. Furthermore, melanin is a polymer while melatonin is not a polymer. Melanin is responsible for providing skin colour, photoprotection, and involves in hearing. On the other hand, melatonin is responsible for modulation of the synthesis of melanin, maintaining the sleep-wake cycle and biological rhythms in the body. Thus, this summarizes the difference between melanin and melatonin.
1. Melanin. National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Database, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Available here.2. Melatonin. National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Compound Database, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Available here.
2. Melatonin-structure By Own work via Commons Wikimedia
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Do Electronic Devices Alter Melatonin Levels
Light at night blocks the production of melatonin, and this has been shown to cause sleep disturbances in people who use electronics that emit light at night. Researchers have found that light from electronic devices can block the release of natural hormone melatonin at night. The effect was most significant for younger children, with nighttime levels reduced by up to 37 percent in certain cases. This can also be problematic for children between ages 9 and 16.
Studies show that light after dark lowers melatonin levels which may lead to difficulty in initiating sleep. Electronic light-emitting devices such as the television, laptops, smartphones and tablets often find their way into the bedroom at night, or are used after dark. Children should not have electronics, including TVs, in their bedroom at bedtime and everyone should avoid use of light-emitting devices and screen time at least one hour before bedtime.