Sleeping is the most time-consuming activity humans are used to; this explains why many people are concerned. The quality and the quantity of sleep can change the human you are every day from an attentive functioning employee to a zombie.
If you only sleep for a few hours a day, know that you are not alone as elephants only sleep about 3 hours a day. If you love elephants, this might be great news. Otherwise, you may need a little help to have more sleep time.
Sleep deprivation is directly linked to gaining more weight, so please pay attention to your sleep schedule if you do not want to end up with an elephant-like body.
However, in this article, we are here to take more about an essential supplement in insomnia treatment. We will discuss all that you need to know about melatonin. We will skim through its side effects, different uses in medicine, and how to make the best use of it to sleep better.
Melatonin is a natural hormone your body produces that regulates your sleep cycle, known as the circadian rhythm. Your pineal gland secretes the melatonin in darkness while the white light stops the secretion. This mechanism can explain the lack of sleep we get after looking at screens before going to sleep.
Melatonin makes you fall asleep easier and increases the quality and consistency of your sleeping experience.
Melatonin is not only produced by your body, but it can be assembled by specialists in labs and produced in the form of supplements. Melatonin supplements are available in the form of pills, liquid, or chewable.
Melatonin supplements work as the natural hormone producing similar effects. Research has shown that melatonin can help some conditions causing insomnia in adults. Melatonin can also fix some sleep issues related to your circadian rhythm. Melatonin is also generally accepted due to its minimal side effects than its competitors.
How do melatonin supplements may improve your sleep?
Natural healthy bodies produce a sufficient amount of melatonin that makes you sleep peacefully for enough time. However, if you are experiencing troubles with occasional insomnia and could use some help, it is a good idea to try melatonin supplements for a while. Melatonin supplements may regulate your sleep.
Melatonin can be helpful to overcome jetlag, adjusting sleep schedules for work and sleep, and beat occasional insomnia.
Recent research has shown that melatonin is an effective treatment for people who suffer from delayed sleep phase syndrome. This syndrome -despite its complicated and nerdy name- is widespread nowadays. People with delayed sleep phase syndrome can not fall asleep until late in the night and, as a result, wake up very late the next day.
Melatonin is a perfect option for those people, thanks to its few tolerable side effects and efficiency in treating the condition, A good example of melatonin is NightRight.
To get the best effect of melatonin supplements, follow these steps:
- Create a suitable atmosphere for deep sleep by keeping the lights dim for a couple of hours before sleeping time.
- Keep away from screens at least for an hour before bedtime; this includes televisions, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones.
- To enhance your natural body melatonin, make sure to get enough sunlight during the day. Try walking for a few minutes in the sun every day before work.
Melatonin supplement side effects:
Melatonin is a well-tolerated supplement that usually does not cause any side effects at all.
Some side effects are classified according to their prevalence into:
- Common side effects: These side effects occur for more than 1 in 100 people.
Tell your doctor if any of these side effects are bothering you.
- Feeling sleepy or exhausted the next day.
- Nausea or stomach ache.
- Feeling drowsy or dizzy.
- Having a dry mouth or dry skin.
- Nightmares or night sweating.
- Painful arms or legs.
- Rare side effects: These side effects are rare, more serious, and may occur to less than one user every 1000. If you experience any of these symptoms, speak to your doctor immediately:
- Mood changes where you feel sad or low more than usual. This could be a sign of depression.
- Your vision becomes blurry, and your eyes are more watery than normal.
- Feeling dizzy or drowsy most of the time.
- Vertigo is where you feel the world spinning around your head.
- Noticing any bleeding that will not stop, blood in your urine, or any unexplained bruises on your skin.
How to deal with the expected side effects?
- Feeling sleepy or tired: Make sure you sleep for enough hours at night and are well-rested. Avoid alcohol as it will make things worse. Do not drive or use heavy tools when you are feeling this way.
- Headache: Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated as dehydration can cause your headache. Do not drink alcohol; ask the pharmacist for a suitable painkiller. If the headache persists, ask your doctor to change the melatonin into another drug.
- Feeling dizzy: Stop what you are doing and sit down for a while until the feeling goes away. Talk to your doctor if the dizziness persists or becomes crippling.
- Nausea: If taking melatonin makes you feel sick or nauseated, try taking the supplement after eating. It can also be helpful to eat slowly. Eat small and frequent meals to help beat the nausea sensation.
- Pain and irritability: Feeling irritable or feeling pain in your body as your arms, legs can be crippling. If these symptoms persist, do not take the drug. Consult your doctor and stop taking the melatonin supplement.
Can you get addicted to melatonin?
Melatonin is a natural product that your body produces; this makes it less likely to become addictive. Melatonin is only recommended for short-term use as a treatment for recent sleep problems. If you use the melatonin as prescribed, it is not likely to become addicted to melatonin.
However, if you are worried that you are using the supplement for too long or think that you have become dependent on it, talk to your doctor or pharmacist for advice. They can help you to get off the drug gradually.
Melatonin supplement different indications:
Studies in different aspects of medicine have shown that melatonin can be helpful to different types of sick people. It has a considerable ability to help patients find a good night’s sleep.
A melatonin supplement can be quite effective in some of the following conditions:
- Endometriosis -a uterine condition characterized by painful menstruation, sexual intercourse, and infertility- studies have shown that taking melatonin on a daily basis for 8 weeks can help decrease the pain.
- Cancer, some health professionals have used high doses of melatonin combined with other anticancer therapies in treating tumors. Studies have shown the ability of melatonin to decrease the size of some selected tumors and may improve survival rates.
- Melatonin can be effective for sleep issues related to some medications as beta-blockers. The condition is known as beta-blocker-induced insomnia occurs due to the lowering effect that the beta-blockers have on melatonin. Beta-blockers are a vast group of drugs used to treat many chronic conditions like hypertension and arrhythmias. Research has shown that taking a melatonin supplement can help overcome this condition.
- Migraine, many evidence shows that taking melatonin at bedtime may decrease the migraine frequency and even prevent its occurrence. When the migraine attack starts, it is usually lighter and less painful in patients taking melatonin supplements.
- Anxiety before surgery, melatonin plays a role in reducing stress before surgery among patients. It also has fewer side effects than other medications used to reduce preoperative anxiety.
- Melatonin can help people with different psychological diseases get better sleep at night. This includes patients with depression, epilepsy, autism, schizophrenia, and other intellectual and developmental disabilities.
When and how do you take melatonin?
It is essential to go through a complete evaluation by a doctor before trying to take melatonin. A doctor will do a comprehensive examination to determine the cause and how to deal with your sleeping problems.
Suppose your doctor determines that melatonin is a good choice for your case. He will usually start by prescribing a 2mg tablet to be taken once before an hour or two of your bedtime. This is because the melatonin takes about an hour or two to start working in your body, so taking melatonin an hour or two before bedtime can be effective for sleep.
Your doctor may tell you to take melatonin supplements only two or three times per week and not every day. It is essential to follow the instructions precisely.
Take the melatonin after food and swallow the whole tablet with water.
If you forget your dose at bedtime, skip the missed dose and start the next day again.
Never compensate for the lost dose by taking two doses at once.
Our journey in this article makes it clear that many people can use melatonin as a sleep aid when fighting sleep problems. If you have trouble sleeping lately, visit your doctor and use the supplement as prescribes precisely, and you will be fine.