Updated: Jun 15
Are you like me? Sometimes it is a challenge to relax enough in the evening to turn your brain onto a slower signal, to shift your body into a more restful state? You know the scene: It's been a long day, you know you are tired, you know you need sleep, but the memo has not reached your core yet? I have found, over the years, that melatonin can be a natural assistant to moving me into that healthy stage of rest and relaxation. It is an effective means of preparation, setting the stage, so to speak, for the body to sleep. I would like to take a few moments to explain to you what melatonin is, how it works, and why is it good for us?
What is melatonin? Melatonin is a hormone primarily released by the pineal gland at night (or when a person is in darkness for a prolonged period). It has been long been associated and researched in the control of the sleep–wake cycle.
What are the health benefits of melatonin? Melatonin has been shown to help improve circadian rhythm sleep disorders in adults and children. Research suggests that melatonin may reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, but its effects on sleep quality are not clear. Melatonin might be more beneficial for older adults who could be melatonin deficient, since we produce less as we age. Evidence shows that melatonin can improve jet lag symptoms, such as alertness and sleepiness. For those who have a job that is night/shift-work hours, melatonin can possibly help in getting the sleep you need in order to be rested for work. There is also some fantastic research on how melatonin can play a role in protecting the immune system, as well as act as an anti-aging mechanism! See Pub Med for further details (Sources: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18212404/ and https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18212405/ and www.mayoclinic.org )
Where do I get melatonin? Again, our bodies produce this hormone naturally. However, as we age, we produce less. Melatonin can be found over-the-counter as a supplement from nearly any local Drug Store. It can be found in forms of tablets/capsules, gummies, or liquid. If you are a first-timer with this supplement, I suggest a very low dose of 1mg to 2mg in the eve. I know some people who can easily take 10mg a night with no side effects, but this is too much for me. I personally take 2 to 3mg in the PM, about an hour before bedtime. You will know if you take too much for your body's needs if you experience the common side effects (see below). Melatonin supplements suggestions and links:
- Pure Encapsulation Melatonin (vegan caps): Promotes Healthy Sleep. Sustained Release. Hypoallergenic. Certified Gluten Free. Vegan. Offers MicroActive melatonin for sustained 6-hour support. Made with hypoallergenic, vegan ingredients. https://bit.ly/3DkPScz
- Olly Extra Strength Zen Gummy (5mg, blackberry): Boost for The Ultimate Sleep. Melatonin, L-Theanine & Botanicals. This extra-strength formula delivers 5 mg of Melatonin to help you fall asleep naturally and wake up feeling refreshed. https://bit.ly/3Fi3yp .
- Natrol Sleep + Calm For Kids: Melatonin + L-Theanine. Botanical Blend. Calms an Active Mind and Body to Ease Them to Sleep. 100% Drug-Free. Strawberry with Other Natural Flavors. The Kids Melatonin product is Pediatrician recommended and safe + effective for ages 4+. These great tasting gummies are:. Non-GMO. Vegetarian & gelatin free. No synthetic dyes. No artificial flavors, sweeteners or preservatives. https://bit.ly/2YOmJYh
- Dr. Mercola Melatonin Sleep Support (liquid, spray, raspberry): If you're one of the many who experience occasional sleeplessness either finding it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep youll be pleased to know theres a solution that doesnt involve habit-forming drugs with potentially dangerous side effects. Sleep Support with Melatonin is an innovative spray formula that provides rapid delivery of top sleep-promoting ingredients to help:. Increase your feelings of sleepiness. Calm your mind and fall asleep more quickly. Enhance your overall sleep quality. Improve your morning alertness. Reduce your daytime fatigue. Natural, Non-GMO, botanical-flavonoid blend. https://bit.ly/32866bz
Melatonin taken orally in appropriate amounts is generally safe. However, there are some common side effects if too much melatonin is taken: Headaches, dizziness, nausea, and drowsiness.
Finally, a few basic tips to encourage your natural melatonin to come out play: Sleep in the dark (light stimulates this hormone to be suppressed), move electronics way from you when you sleep (again, blue light causes sleep disruption and restlessness), do not drink caffeine or sugary beverages before bed, and have a set time frame for your sleep and awake cycles (i.e. In bed by 9pm, awake by 6am)- Your body will thank you for it!
➽Disclaimer: This information is intended for educational purposes only, and NOT intended as medical health care claims, cures, or therapies. Please consult with your doctor/specialist if you have any health concerns or questions about herbal medicine.
Note: Affiliate links are included in this blog post in which we may receive a commission.