We all know that sleep is crucial to our health. It helps us feel refreshed and rejuvenated, and it’s one of the most important things we can do for our mental well-being. But what if there was a way to help you get even better quality sleep? Well, there might be an answer in your kitchen cupboard: melatonin.
Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland which regulates our body’s circadian rhythms and assists with regulating the natural sleep cycle. The pineal gland secretes this hormone at night when it gets dark outside so that we’ll fall asleep naturally.
When we don’t have enough light exposure during the day or are exposed to too much artificial light at night (especially blue light from electronics), our pineal gland doesn’t produce enough melatonin, which can lead to insomnia and other sleep problems.
That’s where supplements like melatonin come in. Taking a supplement containing this hormone can help to re-establish the natural sleep rhythm and improve sleep quality.
But is melatonin safe?
The answer is yes, melatonin is generally considered safe when taken in the recommended doses. However, as with any supplement, it’s important to consult with your health care provider before starting to take it, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
However, there is limited research on the safety of long-term use of melatonin supplements. Because of this, it is unclear what effects might be seen from taking melatonin for a long period of time. Although the research is limited, some studies suggest that using melatonin could affect levels of other hormones in the body. More research is needed to fully understand the safety issues related to long-term use of this supplement.
The FDA regulates dietary supplements differently than over-the-counter medications. Under FDA regulations, a manufacturer can claim that a dietary supplement is intended to affect the structure or function of the body without conducting clinical tests for this purpose. The effect on structure and function must be generally accepted in the scientific community.
The amount of melatonin varies depending on the supplement formulation and the amount of time before bed that it is taken. Melatonin supplements are available over-the-counter in the United States.
Some people taking melatonin supplements have reported feeling drowsy the next day. Other potential side effects of melatonin include headache, dizziness, and nausea.
People with medical conditions should speak to their doctor before taking melatonin supplements. Because of the potential for interactions with over-the-counter and prescription drugs, people with heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, seizures, or any chronic mental or physical illness should consult their doctor before taking melatonin.
If you are thinking about using melatonin supplements to improve your sleep quality it is important to remember that the long-term safety of these supplements has not been determined.