Melatonin: 5 Facts You Should Know
Melatonin – cure all for sleepless nights or mere placebo? Neither. Melatonin can and is highly effective for helping tired people get much-needed zzzzs. But that doesn’t mean it’s a sleeping pill that magically puts all your sleep issues to bed. Here are five facts you need to know if you’re interested in taking melatonin.
- Great for jetlag, shift changes and short-term sleep issues
That said, it’s not great for long-term sleep issues – like insomnia. Because melatonin helps prepare your body for sleep and your natural, day-to-day bedtime rhythm, it won’t help those who have irregular bedtime rhythms. If your typical nighttime routine consists of going to bed and staring at the ceiling wide awake, chances are melatonin isn’t going to be the power pill to knock you out. Having said that…
- Melatonin isn’t a sleeping pill.
Melatonin isn’t a sedative. Melatonin is a natural hormone produced in the pineal gland. Naturally, melatonin levels rise as the sun begins to set which is a natural signal to the body that it’s time to rest. So taking some melatonin can help encourage sleep if you’re jet lagged or are working an odd shift schedule. But melatonin isn’t a sedative and won’t knock you out. But the plus? Less grogginess when daytime sets in.
- Take a few hours before bedtime
Because melatonin is a natural sleep promoter, it takes a little while to fully release and make its impact in the system, so it’s better to take it a couple hours before bedtime. If you take it right before bed, you won’t be feeling sleeping right away – it will take some time for it to fully absorb in your system and make you feel sleepy.
- Not all melatonin supplements are created equal – or natural
While melatonin is a natural hormone, there are many on the market that are contaminated with other drugs or toxic metals, or worse still, do not contain what the label states. Make sure when you’re shopping for melatonin to do a little research and make sure you’re getting melatonin from a trustworthy and reliable source. Also, it’s best to find supplements with no added synthetics and fillers – it may not necessarily interfere with your sleep but added synthetics and fillers will unnecessarily tax the body.
- Melatonin may interact poorly with other medications
If you’re already taking a medication, there’s a potential side effect when taking melatonin or any other supplement. Because of this, you should always check with your healthcare provider about adding a supplement along with any other supplements or prescriptions you’re taking. This link is a great resource listing some medications that don’t interact well with melatonin.
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On a Mission to Clean Up the Vitamin Industry
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