Melatonin supplements are most commonly used as a sleep aid and to help balance out the body’s natural sleeping patterns.
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone in the brain that is made from the pineal gland. It also helps regulate other hormones in the body.
It has an interesting function, in that it works with the circadian rhythm which is otherwise known as are internal clock.
Exposure to light or darkness lets our body know when it is time to sleep and time to wake up. This is because production of Melatonin is higher when it is dark and lower when it is light.
When we are exposed to light in the evening or none at all during the day, this can affect sleeping patterns and disrupt Melatonins natural cycles.
Daylight savings time, jet lag, shift work or any factor that throws off our internal clock affects its production and release.
Also, other factors can play a negative role in the imbalance of Melatonin. As we age, it is believed that we naturally produce less. This may cause our sleeping patterns to be off.
Also, it is thought that certain medications or stress levels can cause our cycles to be disrupted. Sleeping well is crucial to our productivity for both our brain and our body. Melatonin supplements may help to regulate our bodies rhythms.
Research suggests that long term disruptions in Melatonin levels may possibly affect our life span.
Benefits of Melatonin Supplements
The most common reason to take Melatonin is to help you fall asleep and stay asleep. When we don’t sleep enough, it affects our ability to focus and concentrate and negatively affects our overall cognitive functions.
A Melatonin supplement can not only help us fall asleep but some studies suggest that it can reduce the frequency of urination during the night and also help with restless leg syndrome.
It also promotes REM sleep, this allows us to have a deep nights sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and at optimum mental performance. This is also effective for people suffering from insomnia.
Other than its positive effects on sleeping patterns, Melatonin has been found in studies to improve overall brain health and may even help alleviate chronic pain from migraines, however, it is recommended to speak with your doctor first before combining any pain medications with Melatonin supplements to make sure they don’t interact.
This supplement is able to cross the blood brain barrier and protect the brain and neurons. It may reduce brain cell death and brain tissue damage and may help to strengthen the immune system.
Melatonin is considered a powerful antioxidant, protecting against damaging free radicals that may cause premature aging and even cancers.
It has also shown some positive effects on symptoms related to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. It may help lower high blood pressure levels which can result in strokes.
Also, Melatonin controls the timing and release of female reproductive hormones. This helps to determine the entire menstrual cycle and even when menopause will occur. This may improve sleep issues related to menopause.
The benefits of Melatonin are for both older and younger individuals.
Side effects of Melatonin
When starting on any new Nootropic, it is always recommended to start at the lowest dosage possible to be able to gauge your body’s effect.
It is also very important to take this supplement at the recommended dosage. Over usage may cause disruptions in your body clock and make you tired in the middle of the day and keep you awake at night. Taking too much may also cause vivid dreams or nightmares.
This supplement is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women or individuals with hormone related issues.
Please speak to your doctor first if you have any questions or concerns.
Melatonin Supplements Dosage
The average daily dosage is between 1mg-5mg per day taken approximately half an hour before you go to bed.