Melatonin is a hormone in your body that helps control sleep. The production and release of melatonin in the brain is related to the time of day, becoming more pronounced when it's dark and decreasing when it's light. Melatonin production decreases with age.
Melatonin is available as a supplement in the form of tablets or capsules. Most melatonin supplements are made in a lab.
Melatonin : Health benefits
In recent years, melatonin has become a popular supplement among those struggling with sleep problems. While it is commonly known for its ability to regulate sleep-wake cycles, many people are not aware of the other health benefits that melatonin has to offer. Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant that can help boost the immune system and protect against various diseases. In addition, some studies have shown that melatonin may have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
Melatonin is a hormone that is produced naturally by the body's pineal gland. It is known to regulate the sleep-wake cycle and is often used as a sleep aid. However, in addition to its role in sleep, melatonin has also been found to have several health benefits. Studies have shown that melatonin may have antioxidant properties, as well as potential benefits for cardiovascular health and immune function.
Studies on melatonin use for specific conditions show that it is helpful in those cases.
There are sleep disorders that occur during the circadian rhythm, which is the natural daily cycle.Melatonin can help improve these disorders in adults and children.
Having a delayed sleep phase is a sleep disorder.This disorder affects your sleep cycle, which is delayed by two hours or more from a conventional sleep pattern. This can cause you to go to sleep later and wake up later. Studies have shown that melatonin can reduce the length of time needed to fall asleep and advance the start of sleep in adults and children.Before giving melatonin to a child, speak with their doctor. Melatonin is a medication and should only be given to children under the guidance of a doctor.
Insomnia.Some research suggests that melatonin might slightly reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, but its effects on sleep quality and total sleep time are not clear. Some people may be deficient in melatonin, so it may be more beneficial for older adults who need it.
Jet lag.Studies show that melatonin can improve jet lag symptoms such as being alert and feeling sleepy during the day.
Shift work disorder.It is not clear whether melatonin can improve daytime sleep quality and duration in people who have jobs that require them to work outside the traditional morning to evening schedule.
Sleep problems in children.Studies have shown that melatonin might help treat sleep disturbances in children with a number of disabilities. However, usually good bedtime habits are advised as the first treatment.Talk to your child's doctor before giving melatonin to a child. This will help make sure that it is safe for the child to take.
Some researchers believe that melatonin might reduce evening confusion and restlessness in people with Alzheimer's disease, but it does not seem to improve cognitive function.
Your body likely produces enough melatonin for its general needs. However, it is possible that taking melatonin supplements can promote sleep and be safe for short-term use. Melatonin can be used to treat delayed sleep phase and circadian rhythm sleep disorders in the blind and provide some relief from insomnia. Melatonin should be treated like any other sleeping pill and only used under the supervision of a doctor.
The safety and possible side effects of a medication.
Taking melatonin orally in appropriate doses is generally safe. Some people may experience side effects from taking melatonin, but the majority of people do not.
Some less common melatonin side effects might include brief feelings of depression, mild tremor, mild anxiety, abdominal cramps, irritability, reduced alertness, confusion or disorientation.
Make sure you don't drive or use machinery until at least five hours after taking melatonin. This supplement can cause drowsiness during the daytime.
Don't use melatonin if you have an autoimmune disorder. Melatonin can make your condition worse.
Possible drug interactions include:
Herbs and supplements that are used to prevent blood clots, and anticoagulants and antiplatelet drugs can help to prevent them.These types of drugs, herbs, and supplements can reduce blood clotting. Combining them might increase the risk of bleeding.
Anticonvulsants.Melatonin might lessen the effects of anticonvulsants and increase the frequency of seizures in children with neurological disabilities.
Blood pressure medications.Co-administration of melatonin with blood pressure medications might increase blood pressure in people taking these medications.
Central nervous system depressants are medications that slow down the function of the central nervous system.Taking medications with melatonin might cause a sleep-inducing effect.
Diabetes medications.Before using melatonin, make sure to talk to your doctor about any diabetes medications you are taking. Melatonin might affect how well these medications work.
Contraceptive drugs.Using contraceptive drugs while taking melatonin might have an addictive sedative effect and increase possible side effects of melatonin.
These enzymes are used to metabolize certain drugs.If you are taking drugs that are affected by these enzymes, use melatonin cautiously.
Fluvoxamine is a drug that is used to treat depression.This medication used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder can increase the level of melatonin, which can cause excessive drowsiness.
Immunosuppressants.Melatonin can stimulate the immune system and interfere with immunosuppressive therapy.
Seizure threshold lowering drugs.Taking melatonin with these drugs might increase the risk of seizures.