Should I Try Melatonin To Help Me Sleep?
Find out if taking melatonin can help you sleep through the night!
What is Melatonin?
You've probably heard of melatonin, the over-the-counter medication that's supposed to help you sleep. But did you know that melatonin is also a hormone your body produces to help you fall asleep too? Your body's production of melatonin increases when it gets dark out, while the opposite happens after the sun rises. It also explains why we get sleepy so early in the winter - because our bodies begin making melatonin earlier in the day than they do during the rest of the year.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the melatonin you buy in the store is actually made in a lab and can be a great supplement for people with sleep issues or people that are older because production of melatonin slows down as we age. Jet lag is another common use for melatonin because it causes you to be more alert.
Benefits of Taking Melatonin:
Research has found many benefits of taking melatonin. The main thing people take melatonin for is to help them fall asleep and stay asleep. Research shows that melatonin increases a person's total sleep time in addition to helping their insomnia.
Compared to prescription sleep aids, taking melatonin doesn't produce a hangover effect. If you take melatonin long-term, there doesn't seem to be a diminished response of the drug's effectiveness, which happens with many other sleep aids. Another benefit is that it isn't a drug you can become dependent on.
It is also beneficial for people that work nights and sleep during the day. Many people struggle with sleeping during the day and melatonin can help with this.
Clinical trial results have shown that melatonin might eventually prove useful for serious conditions like Alzheimer's and Lou Gehrig's disease.
Drawbacks of Taking Melatonin:
For as beneficial as melatonin can be, there can be drawbacks as well. Some potential side effects include:
• mild tremors
• feelings of depression and/or anxiety
• low blood pressure
It isn't recommended that you take melatonin if you have to drive within the next five hours because melatonin can cause daytime drowsiness. People with autoimmune diseases are also warned from taking melatonin.
There are also several types of drugs that may not be as effective if you take melatonin. Some of these include:
• blood pressure medications
• diabetes medications
Melatonin can be a wonderful thing and improve many people's lives. However, that doesn't mean it is for everyone. It's always a good idea to talk to your doctor before you start incorporating a drug like melatonin into your life, especially if you're on any other medications or have any health conditions. Your doctor may be able to suggest an alternative if melatonin isn't a good idea for you to take.
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