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Learn All About Melatonin

Have you been tossing and turning all night? Do you need another cup of coffee or energy  drink to stay awake at work? Do you have jet lag or work the night shift? 

Getting a good night's sleep is essential to our physical and mental well-being, so what can  we do when we require sleep? You might be wondering if the melatonin you've seen on the  pharmacy shelf is a good solution. Here are the details you need to know before you go ahead  and buy those tablets: 

What is Melatonin (2): 

Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. Sleep and wake cycles are  regulated by melatonin, which inhibits melanin formation and may help regulate reproductive  cycles. It is found in minimal amounts in meat, grains, fruits, and vegetables. Alternatively, it  may be purchased as a supplement. 

Why a need for a Melatonin Supplement? (2) 

Several factors affect how humans sleep, the most important of which is exposure to light or  darkness. When exposed to sunlight, a nerve pathway is stimulated from the retina to an area  called the hypothalamus. One part of the brain, called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), is  responsible for initiating signals to other parts of the brain to control hormones, the body  temperature, and various other functions which can affect how sleepy or awake we feel. 

This network functions like a clock that sets off a regulated pattern of events felt throughout  the body. When the clock in the SCN receives the first light each day, it begins performing  functions such as raising the body's temperature and releasing hormones like cortisol, which  stimulate the body. In addition, the SCN delays the release of hormones like melatonin,  which are associated with sleep onset, until many hours after darkness have fallen. 

Melatonin does more than only make you feel sleepy; it also helps your body sleep longer.  According to the National Sleep Foundation, melatonin levels remain elevated in your blood  for about 12 hours. These levels then decline as the sun comes back out. (1) 

Most people produce enough melatonin to fall asleep and stay asleep without any problems.  However, not everyone has this advantage. Moreover, if your body doesn't produce enough  melatonin naturally, you may need to supplement it with melatonin capsules. 

Melatonin is used for various purposes and is also scientifically studied for the same, let’s list important ones here: 

Jet Lag 

Jet lag may make you feel unwell overall, along with sleep disturbances, fatigue during the  day, impaired functioning, and digestive issues. Melatonin supplements may help relieve jet  lag, according to research. According to a medium-sized review: A total of four studies  examined 142 travellers and found that melatonin reduced jet lag symptoms more effectively  than a placebo. Another survey of 234 travellers on eastward flights evaluated only sleep  quality and found low-quality evidence linking melatonin to better sleep than a placebo. (4)

 



 

Faster sleeping time: 

People with Delayed sleep-wake phase disorder (DSWPD) has trouble falling asleep at the  usual time and waking up at the average time in the morning. Generally, people with  insomnia have difficulty falling asleep between 2 and 6 a.m. and prefer waking up between  10 a.m. and 1 p.m. 

In one of the studies, it was observed that people who took melatonin could fall asleep  between 22 and 34 minutes earlier compared to those who took a placebo. (2) 

Melatonin Dosage: How Much to Take? 

Melatonin dosage may be different for everyone. You might have to try a few times to find  the right amount. Less is usually better. Instead of starting high and going backwards, start  low and work your way up. Or always better to consult your doctor, take the prescribed  medications, and follow the recommended dosage. 

Any Side Effects: 

Melatonin may be safe for short periods and at low doses, but melatonin has not been  extensively studied for long-term safety. Melatonin is classified by the Food and Drug  Administration (FDA) as a dietary supplement, which means it is regulated differently than  prescriptions and over-the-counter medications. 

General side effects may include: (3) 

  • Vivid dreams or nightmares 
  • Daytime drowsiness 
  • Low mood or mild anxiety 
  • Headache 
  • Nausea 
  • Dizziness 

If you have a health condition or are taking prescription medications, you may experience  unwanted interactions. Before taking any supplements, such as melatonin, consult your  primary care physician. 

Unlike harmful prescription medications, HealthyHey Melatonin soothes your sleep with  3mg of melatonin, a natural product. Sleep Mode is made with high-quality, organic  ingredients that are both vegetarian and non-GMO, so it's allergy-friendly, and it's proudly  made in India. 

References: 

  1. Esposito S, Laino D, D'Alonzo R, et al. Pediatric sleep disturbances and treatment with melatonin. J Transl Med. 2019;17(1):77. doi:10.1186/s12967-019-1835-1 
  2. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. National Institutes of  Health. Melatonin: what you need to know.
  3. Andersen LP, Gögenur I, Rosenberg J, et al. The safety of melatonin in humans. Clinical Drug  Investigation. 2016;36(3):169-175. 
  4. Herxheimer A. Jet lag. Clinical Evidence. 2014;2014:2303.

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