Melatonin continues to be one of the most popular supplements for sleep by Americans, coming in fourth place behind prebiotics and probiotics, glucosamine, and fish oil supplements.
When you consider all of the potential disruptions during bedtime and the need to be well-rested to handle daily responsibilities, the popularity of melatonin makes sense. So should you start using melatonin?
Keep reading to find out how melatonin helps you get to sleep and whether it is right for you.
All About Melatonin
The pineal gland, which is located just behind the eye, produces melatonin, a hormone, in response to changing light conditions. If you go into a dark room, melatonin production will increase and signal to the body that it is time for sleep.
However, put a television, computer, or cellphone screen in front of your face and melatonin production may decrease to help you to stay awake and active, even if you know it is time for bed. When you take melatonin as a supplement you are helping to increase the levels of melatonin naturally found in the body. For some people, this makes it an ideal alternative to sleep aids that may contain ingredients that are habit-forming or can cause side effects.
Melatonin does not require a prescription and is available as a supplement. As always, before taking any supplement for sleep, make sure to speak with your doctor about your sleep issues and if melatonin should be used to help with a healthy sleep cycle.
The quantity of melatonin found in supplements typically ranges from less than 1 mg to around 6 mg. While melatonin is generally considered safe and isn’t known to cause side effects, you should consider starting with the minimum dose of melatonin needed to help you fall asleep. Taking too much may affect natural melatonin production; however, the research is not conclusive on the effect of melatonin on the pineal gland and the brain.
- Melatonin Gummies from Nordic Naturals contain 1.5 mg of melatonin and a natural raspberry flavor.
- Melatonin Gummies 2.5 Mg with Natural Strawberry Flavor from Carlson Labs is another gummy formula with a strawberry flavor and an additional 1 mg of melatonin.
- NOW Foods Melatonin comes in capsules with 1 Mg, 3 Mg, or 5 Mg of melatonin depending on your individual needs.
If melatonin supplements don’t provide the exact support you need, you can also try a melatonin formula that blends additional ingredients, like the formula below.
Benesom Relief for Occasional Sleeplessness from Metagenics is a sleep support formula with 3 mg of melatonin, herbs, magnesium, and calcium that work to provide feelings of restfulness, support the quality of sleep, and may provide temporary relief from occasional sleeplessness.
Sleep is an essential part of life. Sleep helps the body to recover from the previous day, may aid work performance, supports a healthy mood and behavior, and can contribute to a lower risk of developing a heart condition, and much more.
One part of getting enough sleep is following good bedtime habits. If that isn’t enough, a melatonin supplement may help to provide the additional support you have been looking for.