Melatonin is a popular supplement for treating sleeping disorders. But before taking melatonin pills for sleep, there are some things you should know about melatonin itself. Curious? keep on reading to learn more about melatonin.
What is melatonin
Many of us may have probably heard about melatonin as a sleeping aid pill. But what many people don´t know is that melatonin is not some kind of synthetic element, but actually a hormone our bodies produce naturally in the dark and at night. Natural melatonin production correlates with day and night cycles and plays a beneficial role in numerous physiological functions.
When your body lacks melatonin, your circadian rhythm shifts away from its natural pattern. As a result, you may have trouble with getting asleep and you will wake up light-headed in the morning. Often this happens when you have stressful times or your sleeping schedule is irregular.
So, what´s important to know – melatonin is not a sleeping agent nor a miracle pill. Basically, melatonin is just telling your brain, when it´s time for sleep, not inducing sleep itself.
Is melatonin safe to take as a supplement?
Nowadays people seek a lot of supplements to treat their anxiety, stress, and insomnia. When it comes to sleeping problems and melatonin, it is considered to be generally safe and helpful while used in short term. After all, it´s better than any prescriptive medication, because it´s not considered as some addictive drug.
But don´t make it a habit. Taking supplements as melatonin is not suggested in the long-term, as it will intervene in your body´s natural circadian rhythm and hormone production. Also, keep in mind that melatonin supplements will not treat the main cause of insomnia itself because insomnia is not caused by melatonin deficiency.
The only proven effect melatonin has is on your day and night rhythm. That´s why melatonin is sometimes suggested for jet lags as it will help your body to settle in a new time zone more conveniently.
What are the side effects of melatonin pills?
When talking about sleeping aid, it´s more about balancing your life, than overdosing on supplement pills, such as melatonin.
Moreover, regular use of melatonin pills can lead to:
- Bad dreams
In addition, melatonin supplements can interact with other prescriptive and OTC medicines like:
- Anti-platelet drugs
- Contraceptive drugs
- Diabetes medications
When using any regular medicines for your chronic disease, you should always consult with your doctor, if this is safe to mix them with supplements like melatonin.
Alternatives for melatonin pills
Fortunately, there are alternatives to consider instead of using medicines and pills. Here are 5 most important things you can do to have a better sleep:
- Take care of your sleeping hygiene – make sure, that you have a dark environment and a cozy bed in your bedroom, also fresh pillows, blankets, and bed linen.
- Stick with your sleeping routine – this late-night TV show on Fridays and Saturdays can be the possible trigger that won´t let you sleep even on workdays. Try to wake up and go to bed every day at the same time, even at the weekends.
- Enjoy daylight as much as possible – when waking up, go straight to the window and breathe some fresh daylight and air. Also, it is good to take a brisk walk for starting the day.
- Minimize blue light in the evenings – this is important and we have talked about this earlier. TV-show won´t pay it off when you are tossing and turning in bed afterward. The same goes for tablets, mobiles, and computers, of course.
- Eat healthily – for a balanced circadian rhythm, your body needs to consume balanced food. Allow a few hours for your digestion system to rest before laying down to bed. That means chips and sweets should not be part of your late-night routine.
Hopefully, you found some ideas on how to sleep better and if melatonin pills are right for you. Want to know more about a good night’s sleep?
Check out our Dreamtalk.