Melatonin is a hormone that plays a pivotal role in our sleep and wake cycle. Its natural levels are the highest at night.
According to some research, supplementation with this hormone may be of aid in the treatment of sleep disorders like delayed sleep phase and provide relief from jet lag and relief from insomnia.
When taken short-term, melatonin is generally safe. Unlike with plenty of sleep meds, the likelihood of becoming dependent on them is very low. Moreover, the chance of a less effective response with repeated use and hangover effects is very low.
However, melatonin supplementation may result in side effects like drowsiness, nausea, headaches, and dizziness. This supplement can be found in a form of a capsule or an oral tablet.
Most of these supplements are made in a lab.
What Are the Proven Effects of Melatonin Supplementation?
- Delayed sleep phase
When the sleep pattern is delayed two or more hours from a conventional pattern of sleep, you’re going to sleep later and waking up earlier.
According to research, melatonin lowers the time necessary to fall asleep and speeds up the sleep phase in both adults and kids suffering from this condition.
Always consult your physician before giving any type of supplement to a child.
- Circadian rhythm sleep disorders in blind people
Melatonin supplementation may be beneficial for bettering this condition in both adults and kids.
According to research, melatonin may lower the necessary time for falling asleep; however, the effects it has on the quality of sleep and total sleep remain unclear. Melatonin may be more beneficial for the elderly lacking it.
- Sleep disorders in kids
According to smaller-scale studies, melatonin may help treat sleep problems in kids with disabilities.
But, good bedtime habits are the primary recommendation for treatment. Therefore, always consult your physician before giving any supplementation to your kids.
- Shift work disorder
Although it’s not entirely clear, melatonin may be of aid in bettering the daytime sleep quality and longevity in individuals who work outside of a traditional schedule from morning to evening
- Jet lag
Evidence notes that melatonin may alleviate the symptoms associated with jet lag like daytime sleepiness and alertness.
Why You Shouldn’t Take Melatonin Supplements?
Despite some evidence of the benefits of melatonin supplements, there are cases when melatonin isn’t recommendable.
Melatonin is generally safe and the supplements may be of aid for relieving certain sleep-related problems, like the ones mentioned above.
If you decide to take it, consult your physician first.
In some cases, melatonin can cause certain side effects like headaches, nausea, drowsiness, and dizziness.
There are also less common, short-term symptoms of taking melatonin that can occur, including mild tremors, mild anxiety, depressive feelings, irritability, abdominal cramps, confusion, disorientation, and reduction in alertness.
Considering it’s associated with drowsiness, it mustn’t be taken when driving a vehicle or using machinery.
Also, people with autoimmune disorders must not take it.
Melatonin can interfere with certain meds. These are:
- Diabetes meds
- Contraceptive drugs
- Blood pressure meds
- CNS depressants
- Seizure-threshold lowering meds
- Cytochrome P450 1A2 and cytochrome P4502C19 substrates