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What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone which occurs naturally in the human body. It is made in the brain’s pineal gland. It is derived from serotonin and helps to regulate circadian and seasonal sleep patterns[1]. Synthetic melatonin can be made in a lab and used to adjust the body’s internal clock. It may be taken in pill form or as a patch.

Benefits and Uses of Melatonin

Melatonin may be used to adjust waking, and sleeping patterns for people whose normal sleep cycle is constantly disrupted due to work schedule shifts or people who are suffering from jet lag. It may also be used to help blind people to establish a nigh/day cycle. Melatonin may also be helpful for the following conditions[2]:

  • Insomnia: the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep
  • Rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder: absence of paralysis during REM sleep, resulting in the sufferer acting our dream situations
  • Delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS): a disorder in which delayed sleep makes it impossible for the sufferer to wake up on time
  • ADHD: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder which affects sleep patterns

During the daylight hours, the pineal gland is inactive, but once it gets dark, the gland starts to produce melatonin, which is gradually released into the bloodstream. As this happens, you will begin to feel noticeably less alert, and you will start to feel sleepy. Blood levels of melatonin remain elevated for around 12 hours, after which they usually return to daylight levels, which are barely detectable[3].

The physiologic dose of melatonin is between 0.2 and 0.5 mg. This is because higher doses will keep blood levels of melatonin elevated throughout the day. The right dose for you will depend on your age, body weight and sensitivity to melatonin[4].

Melatonin Side Effects/Overdose

Taken orally, for a short-term period, melatonin is considered to be generally safe. High doses of melatonin can be harmful and should be avoided. Common side effects include:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea

Taking too much melatonin may cause daytime drowsiness, so you should not take it if you are driving or operating machinery within five hours of use. You should not take a melatonin supplement if you suffer from an autoimmune disease[5].

You should discuss taking melatonin with your physician if you are taking any of the following:

  • Blood-thinning medications
  • Blood pressure medication
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Diabetes medications
  • CNS depressants
  • Contraceptive pills
  • Immunosuppressants
  • Seizure threshold lowering drugs
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)[6]

Although there have been no reports of a melatonin overdose, if you think you may have taken too much, seek medical advice immediately.

Best Melatonin Supplements

You don’t have to be one of the estimated 60 million Americans who experience poor sleep every year. Take a melatonin supplement to help support better, more fulfilling sleep every night.

DrFormulas™ Natural Herbal Sleep Aid Pills is specially formulated to help promote healthy sleep patterns. As well as 1 mg of melatonin per daily serving, it also contains other beneficial ingredients, such as GABA, magnesium, and L-theanine. Try DrFormulas natural sleep aid for better sleep today!