You may have heard the name melatonin, especially with regard to sleep problems. But what is melatonin and what impact does it have on sleep quality and sleep disorders?
Natural melatonin is actually a hormone produced by the body in the pineal gland that helps regulate the behavioral sleep wake scheduling. Sleep quality is dependent on the melatonin production in the body which is triggered by the amount of daylight.
As darkness creeps in at the end of the day, the melatonin production in the body is increased, and as night shifts to day melatonin levels slowly decrease and the body shifts to awaken for the day. This explains why on a cold, darker day people tend to experience more daytime sleepiness.
Circadian rhythms refer to the natural “routine” of phases that the body follows day in and day out. Circadian rhythms most generally respond to the cycles of daylight and night time.
What is Chronic Insomnia?
Chronic insomnia is when a person suffers trouble falling asleep or staying asleep over a long period of time. We’re not talking one odd night where you struggle to fall asleep – we’re talking weeks, months and sometimes even years of trouble falling asleep and even trouble staying asleep.
Chronic insomnia can affect a person’s day to day functioning. Sleep disorder sufferers often experience daytime sleepiness and sometimes even daytime drowsiness which can affect their ability to work, their appetite, and even their moods.
In the event of sleep disorders like chronic insomnia, taking melatonin as a dietary supplement can have positive effects on sleep problems, increasing sleep promotion which in turn can reduce daytime sleepiness and other ill effects from lack of sleep.
Melatonin for Sleep Disorders
Melatonin supplements can assist with delayed sleep phase, circadian rhythm sleep disorders, extended sleep opportunities, and overall sleep disorders. Melatonin is unofficially referred to as a sleep medicine – a natural sleep medicine – as melatonin produced by the body is a natural phenomenon.
If a person suffers from chronic insomnia or other sleep disorders, it could be that their nocturnal melatonin secretion is not producing enough of the hormone during the normal circadian rhythm.
Melatonin helps improve sleep quality by assisting with falling asleep. It can also assist with the sleep quality once asleep. Melatonin can also assist in reducing jet lag symptoms and can help treat jet lag.
How Much Melatonin Should Be Taken?
As a complementary and integrative health approach, melatonin supplements used to aid in sleep disorders should be given in doses that are age-appropriate. The typical dose for a melatonin supplement is between 1mg and 3mg. In children taking melatonin natural health products, research suggests that the recommended dose is smaller at 0.5mg to 1mg.
Can you take too much melatonin?
It is possible to take too much melatonin supplements which can have a negative effect on the body’s natural circadian rhythm, and cause other undesirable side effects. It is always best to consult your healthcare specialist to provide medical advice or ensure you are purchasing your melatonin supplement form a reputable supplier.
Complementary health approaches, including melatonin use should always follow the correct dosage instructions. Taking melatonin can greatly assist in reducing sleep disorders if taken correctly.
Do melatonin supplements work for Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD is one type of brain disorder where a person’s moods and mental states are linked to a change in seasons. These depressive states can be expected every year at the same time, or same season each year.
Seasonal Affective Disorder can be linked to sleep disorders where a person struggles to fall asleep at night and then experiences daytime drowsiness – essentially experiencing a delayed sleep wake phase. Poor sleep quality leads to lower moods and essentially a seasonal depression.
Melatonin supplements can assist with reducing the effects or severity of winter depression or SAD. Taking melatonin has been shown to assist with regulating the circadian rhythm which means high quality nighttime sleep and reduced daytime drowsiness.
Where do you get melatonin from?
Melatonin can be prescribed by your health practitioner. You can also get this dietary supplement from health food stores as over-the-counter melatonin, and online stores such as SeraLabs. Natural health practitioners can advise how much melatonin you should take.
Reputable companies such as SeraLabs, with clinically backed ingredients, follow the clinical practice guidelines and a melatonin product such as Sleep A.S.A.P has a research approved dosage of melatonin for accurate drug administration.
Who Should Take Caution Using Melatonin Supplements
People with high blood pressure should be cautious when taking melatonin supplements or any other drug administration. The effects of melatonin in people with this disorder could potentially lead to interaction with current blood pressure medications, or potentially raise blood pressure in these individuals.
If you are taking blood pressure regulating medications, it is advisable to consult your healthcare professional to provide medical advice before commencing with a melatonin supplement.
If you are susceptible to allergic reactions, it is also a good idea to take caution when taking melatonin, as you would with any dietary supplements from health food stores.
Additional Sleep Improvement Techniques
Along with taking a melatonin supplement, enhancing your natural circadian rhythm can further help with alleviating sleep disorders. Delayed sleep phase syndrome is a common term for people who struggle to fall asleep – usually taking 2 hours or more to fall asleep at night.
The way in which you wind down for your bedtime routine directly facilitates sleep. Clinical sleep medicine may assist with your delayed sleep phase at first, but these can eventually stop working as time goes on causing further sleep problems.
Dimming the lights at night time, reducing screen time an hour before bed time, using the night time screen dimming features of smartphones and tablets, or a warm bath and calm bedtime routine can directly facilitate sleep by training the body’s internal clock.
Sleep A.S.A.P. By SeraLabs
Developed by SeraLabs with clinically-backed ingredients as a natural, drug-free alternative to clinical sleep medicine, Sleep A.S.A.P. helps to support sleep promotion and sleep quality.
This powerful and fast-acting sleep medicine with melatonin is a helpful aid in sleep disorders and those who suffer from delayed sleep phase.
Waking up rejuvenated without the daytime drowsiness that comes from other clinical sleep medicine, Sleep A.S.A.P. can assist with chronic insomnia. It is available in a Nutri-Strip which dissolves on the tongue in 5 seconds and aids in better absorption.
Melatonin helps regulate circadian rhythm disorders and assists with people who don’t produce melatonin levels sufficient to reduce sleep problems.