Are Melatonin Sleep Aids Worth Trying?
Are you one of the millions of people who find it very difficult to fall asleep at night? Do you find a three or four hour sleep normal? If you answer yes to these questions, you might want to try Melatonin pills to address your sleep loss problems.
What Is Melatonin?
It contain the hormone that is naturally produced in our bodies by the pineal gland located in the brain. During the day, the gland which is sized like that of a pea is inactive. But at nighttime, the pineal gland is activated to produce this hormone which is released into the bloodstream.
Production of this hormone usually begins at around nine in the evening. When it is released to the bloodstream, you’ll feel less alert and energetic. This is one reason why people who have no sleep loss problems would easily fall asleep at night.
The amount of hormone in the blood remains elevated for around 12 hours, and goes back to low levels starting at nine in the morning. Curiously, melatonin production is also affected by bright lights. This explains why the hormone is fondly referred to as the hormone of darkness, because it only comes out at night.
Like most hormones like testosterone, its levels decline with age. Senior citizens make very little amount of this hormone. This has led to theories that lack of melatonin in the body can contribute to age-related disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.
There are also studies that link low levels of this hormone will lead to cancer, as scientists have observed that women with breast cancer have lower levels of this hormone compared to women without cancer.
Given the effects of this hormone on inducing sleep, it is not surprising that science has found a way to produce synthetic melatonin for sleep. Aside from treating sleep problems, it is also used for reducing chronic headaches, treating seasonal affective disorder, and preventing problems associated with post-surgery like sleeping and confusion.
Melatonin Supplement for Sleep
Since the 1950s, there have been a lot of studies made on the effects of the hormone on sleep. But it was only in the 1990s when synthetic melatonin was produced and became available as a dietary supplement.
Melatonin for sleep supplements are available as over-the-counter medications, meaning you don’t need to have a doctor’s prescription in order to buy one. In fact, it is the only synthetic hormone that is readily available in drug stores as a dietary supplement in the United States as per the U.S. Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994. This also means that this hormone does not need approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Read our article on Where To Buy Melatonin Pills.
The problem is that synthetic is produced in factories which are not regulated by the US FDA. As such, dosages of the supplements may be inaccurate. There’s the risk that the amount of hormone you get in a pill may not be the amount that is indicated in the product package.
Of course, you wonder whether this hormone is really effective in improving sleep quality of those who use this supplements. There are studies that back up claims about the effectiveness of melatonin as sleeping aid.
One study was conducted by Chinese scientists. In the trial, 40 healthy participants took part. They had slept in simulated intensive care unit (ICU) conditions for a few nights, and were divided into four groups.
One group was given 1 milligram of fast release melatonin, another group was given masks and ear plug, while the third group a placebo. The fourth group received nothing to help them sleep.
The researchers then assessed the quality of the participants in a nine-hour period by measuring factors like eye movements, muscle tension, and brain activity. The participants were also asked to evaluate their sleep after waking up.
In the end, the researchers from Capital Medical University in Beijing concluded that those who used oral pills were able to sleep better compared to the other individuals who took part in the study.
There is also a study published in 2004 that described this hormone as ‘mildly beneficial’ in treating insomnia and other sleep disorders. The study also said there’s little evidence that this hormone is effective in treating jet lag.
The study took into account the experiences of 284 people with insomnia. The participants were given different doses of this hormone. In the end, it was found that it can reduce the time it takes for people to doze by four minutes, and increase total sleep time by around 13 minutes.
Read our Lunar Sleep Review.
How to Use It
In general, supplements are safe especially when taken in low doses. Melatonin sleeping pills are also more likely to make you sleepy if you use it properly.
These pills have a very short half life, and it would only remain active in your body for around 20 minutes. Usually, time-release melatonin is to be taken an hour before bedtime. This works best for people who take more than an hour to doze.
But since it lasts only for four hours, you might have to take another pill in four hours to continue your sleep.
For people who spend less than an hour to sleep, the standard amount should be enough. You can take the lowest milligram size one to two hours before you hit the sack.
The typical dose of this hormone ranges from 1 to 3 milligrams.
Like any other drug, there is still a risk of side effects from the use of sleeping pills. Some of the more common side effects of this sleeping pill are vivid dreams, lower body temperature, blood pressure changes, drowsiness, and morning grogginess.
You should never attempt to drive or operate any machinery when you are taking pills as it can make you drowsy.
Is it Worth Trying?
Given that there are sufficient studies backing up claims on the effectiveness of melatonin pills for sleep, it would not hurt if you try using tablets. Ask your doctor first about taking supplement for sleep before you eventually take a pill. And always follow the dosage instructions so that you will not experience the mild side effects of melatonin for sleep supplements.
For the best sleeping pills that contain melatonin, check out Lunar Sleep. It is an all natural sleeping tablet that helps you sleep soundly at night without putting you at risk of side effects. Try it today.