Melatonin, also known as the sleep hormone, helps regulate your sleep-wake cycles- high levels make you fall asleep. It is naturally produced by the pineal gland in the brain in response to darkness, helping to signal to the body that it's time to sleep.
Many people use melatonin supplements as a sleep aid, particularly for managing jet lag or insomnia. A melatonin supplement can be effective in promoting sleep and adjusting sleep patterns when used in appropriate doses and taken at the right time. Read on to learn how melatonin works.
How does Melatonin help with insomnia?
Melatonin can help combat insomnia by regulating the sleep-wake cycle and promoting the onset of sleep. Here's how it works:
1. Sleep-Wake Regulation:
The production and release of melatonin may be disrupted in individuals with insomnia, leading to difficulty falling asleep- taking melatonin supplements can help restore balance and promote sleepiness.
2. Resetting Circadian Rhythm:
Insomnia can be caused by a disruption in the body's circadian rhythm- the internal biological clock regulating sleep-wake cycles. Melatonin supplementation can help reset the circadian rhythm and synchronise it with external cues such as light and darkness. Taking melatonin at the appropriate time, such as in the evening or before bedtime, can signal to the body that it's time to sleep and help regulate the sleep-wake cycle.
3. Sleep Quality:
Melatonin can also improve the quality of sleep. It may help increase the duration of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is the deep and restorative stage of sleep associated with dreaming. By promoting deeper sleep, melatonin can enhance overall sleep quality and reduce the likelihood of waking up during the night.
It's worth noting that melatonin is not a sedative and may not be effective for all types of insomnia. It tends to be more beneficial for individuals with delayed sleep phase disorder, jet lag, or shift work sleep disorder. Consult a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate dosage and timing of melatonin supplementation for your specific insomnia symptoms. Additionally, adopting good sleep habits and addressing any underlying causes or contributing factors to insomnia is important for comprehensive management.
How to take melatonin: Key points to keep in mind
Follow the recommended guidelines while taking Melatonin to ensure its effectiveness and safety. Here are some general tips on how to take melatonin:
1. Consult with a Healthcare Professional:
Before starting melatonin supplementation, always consult a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or pharmacist. They can provide personalised guidance based on your specific needs and medical history.
2. Start with a Low Dose:
As per FSSAI’s permitted range, one can consume 2-10 mg of melatonin daily. It is good to start with a lower count of the supplement to allow your body to respond to the supplement without taking an excessive amount.
3. Time it Right:
Take Melatonin about 30 minutes to 1 hour before your desired bedtime, which helps ensure that the melatonin levels in your body increase when you want to fall asleep.
4. Create a Bedtime Routine:
Incorporate a consistent bedtime routine to signal to your body that it's time to wind down and prepare for sleep, which can include activities such as dimming the lights, avoiding screens (eg, smartphones, tablets, computers) before bed, and engaging in relaxation techniques like reading or taking a warm bath.
5. Be Mindful of Light Exposure:
Exposure to bright light, particularly blue light emitted by electronic devices, can suppress melatonin production- limit your exposure to bright lights, especially in the evening to support the natural release of melatonin.
6. Avoid Stimulants:
Substances like caffeine and nicotine can interfere with sleep- it’s best to avoid consuming stimulants close to bedtime as they may counteract the effects of melatonin.
7. Consider Individual Needs:
The appropriate dosage and timing of melatonin may vary depending on the individual. Factors such as age, sleep condition, and response to melatonin can influence the recommended dose. Consult with a healthcare professional to determine the most suitable approach for you.
Remember, melatonin is a hormone, and like any supplement, it should be used responsibly and under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
Know when to stop consuming
Knowing when to stop taking melatonin is important to prevent dependence and ensure its effectiveness. Here are some guidelines:
1. Take for Shorter Time:
Melatonin is generally recommended for short-term use, typically a few weeks to a couple of months. It can help manage temporary sleep issues such as jet lag or changing sleep schedules. If you're using melatonin for a specific purpose, consult a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate duration of use.
2. Gradually Taper:
If you've been taking melatonin regularly for an extended period, it's generally advised to taper off gradually rather than stopping abruptly, which allows your body to readjust to its natural melatonin production. Gradually reduce the dosage over a few weeks under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
3. Reassess Sleep Patterns:
Keep track of any improvements in your sleep patterns as you use Melatonin. If you notice significant improvements and find that your sleep issues have resolved, it may be an indication that you can reduce or discontinue melatonin use. However, it's important to discuss this decision with a healthcare professional to ensure it's appropriate for your situation.
4. Explore Underlying Causes:
Addressing the underlying causes of your sleep issues is crucial for long-term improvement. If you've been using melatonin to manage chronic insomnia, it's important to explore and address any underlying factors contributing to your sleep problems, such as stress, lifestyle habits, or medical conditions. Working with a healthcare professional can help you develop a comprehensive plan for long-term sleep management.
The Best Melatonin Supplement for Insomnia
Steadfast Nutrition’s Melatonin is one of the best melatonin supplements for sleep; it is also non-habit forming. The supplement works with the body’s circadian rhythm, which results in better sleep- it indicates to the brain that it’s time to fall asleep, making you fall asleep quickly. Sleep is necessary for our well-being- good sleep leads to a productive day ahead without us feeling low on energy.
Good sleep is also a way to keep yourself calm and happy. Remember, it's always best to consult a healthcare professional for personalised guidance on when and how to stop consuming melatonin. They can provide recommendations based on your circumstances and help you make an informed decision.