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Does Melatonin Help Sleep?
- Dec 10, 2021 -

Melatonin has a variety of physiological functions and participates in sleep regulation, immune regulation, reproductive circulation, cancer occurrence and development, and antioxidant effects. Melatonin is an important sleep hormone. It is the remote control that regulates the human body's circadian rhythm. Once the secretion is reduced, it can cause a delay in the circadian rhythm and make it difficult to fall asleep.


However, what exactly is melatonin? It is a hormone naturally produced by the human body, and it lets us know that it is time to sleep. The melatonin naturally produced in the human body does not induce sleep, but the biochemical signals related to darkness tell the brain that night is coming. Melatonin is released by the body several hours before going to bed, and it helps regulate the sleep/wake cycle.


■What type of people is suitable for melatonin?


The main time of melatonin synthesis is between 2 am and 3 am. Light shining on the retina will destroy the formation of melatonin, affect the normal neuroendocrine rhythm, and inhibit the secretion of melatonin by the pineal gland. Therefore, people who need jet lag, night shift workers, and people exposed to artificial light at night can take melatonin for a short period of time when flying around the world. Elderly people with less melatonin secretion can take a small amount of melatonin appropriately. The method of taking should consult a physician and take it under the guidance of a physician.


■Everyone needs to take different doses


To avoid side effects, start with the lowest dose. 0.2~5 mg is considered to be the starting dose range for melatonin supplementation. Since the FDA does not strictly supervise melatonin, the efficacy of different brands may be different. Therefore, patients with insomnia should start with the lowest dose, especially when taking it for the first time.


■Melatonin can also cause side effects


Even so, those considering taking melatonin should be aware of some potential risks. Melatonin is not without potential side effects, including headache, depression, daytime sleepiness, dizziness, joint pain, stomach cramps, and irritability. Some people also report that their dreams have become vivid because of taking melatonin.


Although an overdose of melatonin is not life-threatening, users still need to be alert: higher doses (20-30 mg) may be harmful to adults.


■How should we prevent and treat insomnia in our daily lives?


1. Try not to do things that excite yourself within 2 hours before going to bed. You can listen to some soothing light music. Don't overuse your brain to avoid falling asleep to obstacles.


2. You can do some exercises during the day. Appropriate fatigue will help your body fall asleep.


3. Be careful not to drink strong tea, coffee, etc., eat more high-quality protein containing various essential amino acids, and foods rich in vitamin B and vitamin E, vitamin C, calcium, and tryptophan. Contribute to a night of good sleep.


Finally, long-term insomnia will cause a great burden on the body, and it may also be an early warning of certain diseases. If insomnia has not been relieved, please go to the hospital for treatment as soon as possible, and let the doctor intervene. Do not buy melatonin on your own terms.


We hope everyone has a regular schedule and a healthy sleep.


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