December 13, 2013
Melatonin – Can Melatonin Get You to Sleep?
Melatonin is responsible for ensuring that when you say “goodnight,” you mean it.
Melatonin is the hormone produced in the pineal gland of the brain responsible for a number of important body functions. However, one of the most important responsibilities of melatonin is regulating the sleep-wake cycle.
The level of melatonin in the brain fluctuates throughout the day. During the day light inhibits melatonin production. At night, melatonin is secreted due to darkness. In fact, melatonin is considered the “hormone of darkness” because the production of melatonin increases at night to cause drowsiness and onset the sleep cycle.
Melatonin sends signals to the brain to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. As people get older, melatonin production begins to decrease. In order to address this problem a lot sleep supplements have become melatonin-based.
A melatonin-based supplement increases the level of melatonin in the brain naturally to encourage sleep. Supplementing melatonin can also help reestablish healthy sleep patterns for those who suffer from sleep disorders like insomnia.
Clinical studies have proven that melatonin supplements help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, increase the amount of sleep you get, and help you wake up feeling refreshed.
The right concentration of melatonin in a supplement is still unknown. There are a number of contradicting studies that state different doses of melatonin are effective. Altogether, it seems that an effective dose of melatonin is somewhere between 0.3 mg and 3 mg.
Although supplementing melatonin is natural, there are some side effects. Large doses of melatonin can actually cause insomnia rather than treat insomnia. Melatonin is best taken for short periods of time to help readjust the sleep cycle.
Taking melatonin for extended periods of time can be counterproductive. It is best to consult your doctor before taking melatonin for long periods of time.