Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced by the brain and is fundamental in the regulation of our sleep cycles. Towards the end of the day, our eyes register the change from daylight to darkness. The eyes then send a signal to the pineal gland in the brain, which is where melatonin is made. The pineal gland secretes melatonin into the blood supply, and consequently, we begin to feel sleepy. When our circadian rhythm (the sleep-wake cycle) is disrupted by stress, night shifts or long-distance travel, our production of melatonin tends to decrease.
7 Benefits of Melatonin
If you are having a hard time getting to sleep and feel fatigued during the day, you may not be producing sufficient quantities of melatonin. A high-quality melatonin supplement may prove to be very beneficial. This supplement will help to provide your body with the many benefits melatonin has to offer. After all, we all know how important a restful sleep is! Let’s take a look at some of the most known benefits.
1. Promotes a Deep Sleep
Inadequate sleep decreases your productivity, lowers your energy levels, and increases the risk of diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes. Correcting your natural levels of melatonin by using a supplement will go a long way in improving your sleep patterns. This may help to reduce your overall levels of stress and enhance your sense of feeling calm and well-rested. Taking melatonin 30-60 minutes before going to bed is known to decrease how long it takes to fall asleep as well as the overall time slept. A recent medical study showed that melatonin treatment significantly reduced sleep onset latency and increased the total duration of sleep (1).
Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by the brain every night in response to diminishing light. It is responsible for regulating our circadian rhythm and telling our body clock it is time for bed. Aside from being a powerful antioxidant, many studies have shown that it is very useful in helping those with sleep disturbances to get to sleep quicker and stay asleep for longer (1). Sufficient sleep is essential for maintaining a robust immune system and allowing the body time to rest and heal. Melatonin is a great natural alternative to conventional sleeping pills because it doesn’t have addictive qualities, and there are no known risks of withdrawal issues when a dose is missed or stopped.
2. Relieves Anxiety & Depression
Although melatonin is predominantly used to treat sleep disorders, it has a role to play in relieving anxiety. Many people who experience anxiety also experience difficulties sleeping. They then find themselves caught in a vicious cycle where exhaustion and fear continue to feed one another. Insomnia is a very common side effect of chronic anxiety. Using melatonin to regulate your circadian rhythm and encourage deep sleep will ease the negative feelings associated with anxiousness and allow the body to rest. Unlike many conventional sleeping tablets, melatonin does not have addictive qualities. There are no withdrawal problems when the dose is missed or stopped.
3. Treats Jet Lag
Jet lag is essentially is a temporary type of sleep disorder, and occurs when your body’s internal clock is out of sync with the new time zone you have entered. Melatonin can help reduce the symptoms of jet lag and promotes quicker adoption by syncing your internal clock with the time change. Taking a melatonin supplement is recommended for adult travelers flying across five or more time zones. It has been demonstrated to be remarkably effective in preventing or diminishing jet lag (2). Shift workers may also experience symptoms much like those of jet-lag because they work during a time when the body expects to sleep. One study found that melatonin may improve daytime sleep in night-shift workers (3).
4. Can Reduce the Risk of Diabetes & Weight Gain
The most common risk factors for type 2 diabetes are familiar to most of us, but did you know that low levels of melatonin have also been linked to type 2 diabetes (2)? A large-scale study showed that those participants with the lowest levels of melatonin had double the risk of developing diabetes when compared with those with the highest levels. Diabetes and obesity go hand in hand, and melatonin is helping on this front too. Researchers at the University of Granada have demonstrated that melatonin “helps in controlling weight gain, even without reducing the intake of food” (3).
5. Alleviate Symptoms of Menopause
Menopausal symptoms often include sleep difficulties, and melatonin supplements can help address this issue alongside feelings of depression. A study was conducted with perimenopausal and menopausal in women aged 42-62 who take a daily dose of melatonin. Most of the women reported an overall improvement of mood and a noticeable decrease in depression within the space of six months. The result of the study also showed how melatonin supplementation among these women led to a rebalancing of the pituitary and thyroid functions(4).
6. Relieves Migraines
Melatonin can provide a simple and effective treatment option for migraine sufferers. As with the link between diabetes and low levels of melatonin, patients suffering from migraines have also been found to have depleted nighttime levels of this hormone (5). Researchers have found that melatonin can assist in decreasing the pain associated with migraines. A clinical trial found that 3 mg of melatonin taken 30 minutes before bedtime helped to reduce the frequency, intensity, and duration of headaches for the subjects in the study. Out of 32 people, 25 noted a 50 percent decrease in headaches, and 8 participants experienced total cessation of headaches. (6)
7. Used for Cancer Therapy
One of the most exciting developments involving melatonin is its potential role in various cancer therapies. It has recently been shown that melatonin is beneficial in treating two particularly common types of cancer. A study in 2001 concluded that melatonin could significantly inhibit the growth and proliferation of prostate cancer cells. In 2014, studies showed that it could also inhibit unwanted cell production and tumor growth in breast cancer (7, 8).
Taking a Melatonin Supplement
When taking it in supplement form, it is always best to use the lowest dosage possible, never giving our bodies more than what is needed. Is it habit forming? Currently, there are no reports or studies that show it being habit forming, but as with any supplement, caution is always warranted.
A supplement that can and has been taken by all ages, including children it is a safe supplement to take. If, however, individuals taking this supplement have had addiction issues in the past, then consulting a health care provider before beginning will ensure safety.
Dosages vary, but since our bodies already make this hormone, caution is to be used. Taking too much can affect the sleep cycle in reverse by keeping a person awake. Therefore, a low dosage is best to start with. If the desired sleep effect isn’t achieved, then gradually increasing dosage at half measures will help a person find what works for their bodies.
An all-natural sleep aid like AgelessSLEEP can help you have a great rest to feel better in the morning. This premium supplement is made with a unique blend of natural ingredients and includes 5mg of melatonin for just the right amount of relaxation. AgelessSLEEP comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee and it is made right here in the USA!
When considering giving this supplement to children, it is best to consult a physician before doing so since children’s bodies are different than our own. For adults, .2 – 5mg is a baseline to start with, edging on the side of less is more.
Should a person have insomnia the dosage can be upped to .3- – 10mg, again starting low and slow. A general rule for older adults is .1 – 5mg to start. For women who are nursing or pregnant, it is also best to consult a physician before beginning melatonin.
Can You Overdose On Melatonin?
Some people find may find that melatonin is effective to help them fall asleep compared to others. Each person is different in how they handle doses of melatonin. Some people may not tolerate even small doses, while others require a large amount to feel the effects. If you are struggling with sleep, it is best to seek a sleep specialist who may be able to provide you with suggestions. Always consult your doctor or physician before taking a new vitamin or supplement.
It’s not likely that an adult will experience a medical emergency when taking melatonin. Children are far more likely to experience serious medical issues when taking this supplement.
Overdose symptoms will vary from person to person, and may include:
- Upset stomach
- Joint and muscle pain
Those with high blood pressure or are taking medication to lower blood pressure should consult with a doctor before taking melatonin.
Natural tips for a better sleep
Such factors as weight, age, and overall health can affect how high of a dose a person will need to see benefits. It is best to consult a physician before starting this supplement to ensure no unwanted side effects or reactions with essential medicines.
When trying to promote better relaxation and sleep, there are many things a person can do to aide their bodies. Eating a healthy diet, taking a vitamin and mineral supplement, and minimizing stressful situations as well as lifestyle changes regarding a bedtime ritual can go a long way in helping.
Try bedtime modifications like:
- Turning down the lights a half hour before sleep
- Limiting device used for an hour before bed
- Having a light snack and keeping noise to a minimum
We hope that this article is helpful and answers some of the questions you have about melatonin. Have a great sleep!