Taking Melatonin for Sleep All the info you need about Melatonin
If you are suffering from insomnia, you may be considering, or should consider taking melatonin for sleep. Melatonin is a hormone produced in the brain which regulates a person’s sleep cycles. As people get older, their brains produce fewer melatonin, which can often make it difficult to fall asleep and/or stay asleep. Because of the way this condition progresses, middle-aged and older persons experience these problems more often than younger persons. Women going through the menopause may find Melatonin very helpful. However, younger people can also experience melatonin problems.
Melatonin is a highly effective treatment of insomnia, and people of many ages and both genders can benefit from it. If you work odd hours, such as night shifts, these supplements can help keep your sleep cycles in check. If it takes you a long time to get to sleep, or you keep waking up, then you may see a big improvement when taking Melatonin for sleep – I certainly found it useful in helping me drop off and also staying asleep. Many times, third-shift workers have a difficult time sleeping as their internal clocks become confused. Melatonin can help regulate these sleep cycles and make you sleep easily and restfully. Older people, whose melatonin levels have dropped can benefit from supplements, as well.
Melatonin is also excellent for regular flyers across timezones as it has been shown to really help with jet lag, through it’s ability to reset your body clock.
This supplement can also be useful for those recovering from sleeping pill and benzodiazepene withdrawal, and I found it did help me when going through this process.
Important: These supplements should not be used by children, pregnant women or nursing mothers. People with various medical conditions such as depression, auto-immune diseases, diabetes, epilepsy, lymphoma and leukemia should see a doctor before taking melatonin.
The best thing about these useful supplements, is that users have reported virtually no unpleasant side effects that are often associated with traditional over the counter sleep aids. However, when people go over the recommended dosage, there have been some side effects reported. These include headaches, nausea, irritability, hormone fluctuations, reduced blood flow and grogginess. An extremely small amount of people have said they woke up feeling a bit drowsy; however, this can be corrected by having a pharmacy customize a dosage of melatonin for the person who takes it. I personally have found that Melatonin does help me get to sleep a lot quicker, which is great and have never experienced any side effects.
Be aware though, that scientists currently do not know if there are any long term problems or side effects associated with this supplement. See below for how long you should stay on Melatonin for.
Besides providing restful sleep and having no reported side effects, there are many other benefits in taking melatonin supplements for insomnia. One terrific benefit is that melatonin is not addictive. It simply supports the body with a supply of melatonin until the body can produce its own. Melatonin also helps repair cells in people’s bodies while they sleep.
The best benefit of using these supplements is that researchers have shown they can prevent some forms of cancer. This is due to their ability to remove free radicals from the body. However, this has only been proven in mice so far, so may not relate to humans. Another thing that scientists have found is that (once again in mice) Melatonin slows the ageing process. Currently no-one can say if this benefit will extend to humans, but here’s hoping!
Melatonin supplements can be conveniently found in many health and nutrition stores or online. The proper dosage of melatonin varies depending on the individual; however, for treatment of insomnia a dosage of 1mg tablet is more than sufficient. This dosage is best taken about 30 to 60 minutes before going to sleep. People should never take more than 3mg per day as this can cause many of the side effects listed above.
A little known fact about Melatonin is that most recommended dosages on supplements are higher than necessary. Taking more does not equal better sleep, so you should find the minimum that works for you. I buy it in dropper form (by Natrol) and use about 1 dropper (which equals about 0.25mg) and this works really well for me.
If you have problems staying asleep, you should try slow release melatonin, so that a steady amount can be released as you slumber, great for avoiding feeling tired in the morning.
It is recommended that you don’t stay on melatonin for more than 9 weeks continuously, the reason for this is that it is unknown whether melatonin has any long term side effects. Furthermore, I found that it did lose it’s effectiveness after about 2 months. This effectiveness can be regained by staying off it for about 2 months.
In conclusion, restful sleep is essential for a person’s overall health. There are many prescriptions and over-the-counter sleep aids available to help people regulate their sleep habits, but taking melatonin for sleep remains one of the most beneficial, safest and inexpensive ways to get a decent night’s sleep, and I personally have found it effective.
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