Think I’ve solved my occasional sleepless nights with one tiny little supplement called Melatonin.
Taking 3-5mg of melatonin sublingually (I prefer dissolving a tablet under the tongue for faster absorption), along with two Magnesium Citrate softgels before bed has helped me tremendously to having a more restful sleep.
Most people know about melatonin and have most likely either taken it or have considered taking it. But just in case… let’s have a look at the benefits vs risks. In general it’s a lot safer than taking a regular sleeping pill if you’re having trouble dozing off. Plus, it won’t leave you feeling listless the next day.
Discovered in 1958, melatonin is a potent hormone naturally produced in the body to help regulate our circadian rhythm, or natural body clock. Light is the switch that controls it: As daylight fades, levels of melatonin begin to rise about 2 hours before bedtime, nudging us to become sleepy. In the morning, when light hits the eyes, it signals the brain to halt melatonin production, and we grow alert.
The hormone melatonin plays a role in your natural sleep-wake cycle. Natural levels of melatonin in the blood are highest at night. Some research suggests that melatonin supplements might be helpful in treating sleep disorders, such as delayed sleep phase, and providing some relief from insomnia and jet lag.
“Melatonin is a sleep regulator, not a sleep initiator,” explains Michael Breus, author of “Good Night: The Doctor’s 4-week Program to Better Sleep and Better Health.”
Since the 1980s, dietary supplement makers have billed melatonin made in a lab as a promising sleep aid. But its effects on occasional insomnia are not significant.
Take caution (as with taking any supplements in general):
While short-term use (a few months or less) of melatonin is thought to be safe in healthy adults, it can boost blood sugar, so it is not recommended for people with diabetes, Goldstein says. Taking too much can also lead to bad dreams and grogginess the next day, and it can make many drugs less effective, including high blood pressure medications, seizure medications, and birth control pills, Breus says.
Because dietary supplements are not regulated as much as prescription drugs, quality can vary wildly from bottle to bottle. One recent study found that 71% of melatonin supplements surveyed did not contain exactly what they said on the label. Some had more than four times as much melatonin as indicated, and 26% contained the powerful neurotransmitter serotonin, a chemical found in many antidepressant medications.
Like I mentioned above, I think that taking magnesium (and you can also consider Gaba) along with starting with 3mg. of Melatonin will complete your night cycle. Trust me; I’ve had many sleepless nights.
Melatonin is generally safe for short-term use. Unlike many other sleep medications, with melatonin you are unlikely to become dependent, have a diminished response after repeated use (habituation), or experience a hangover effect.
No; no hangover effect – that comes from something else.
If melatonin for sleep isn’t helping after a week or two, stop using it. And if your sleep problems continue, talk with your health care provider. If melatonin does seem to help, it’s safe for most people to take nightly for one to two months. “After that, stop and see how your sleep is. Be sure you’re also relaxing before bed, keeping the lights low and sleeping in a cool, dark, comfortable bedroom for optimal results.
One more thing. “Never go to bed mad. Stay up and fight” – Phyllis Diller.