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ColumnsLifestyles of the Fit and Healthy

Melatonin: Nothing beat a good night’s sleep

Restless. Mind won’t shut off. Exhausted.

Having a bad night of sleep every once in a while is tolerable, but not when this is a reoccurring phenomenon. Not being able to fall asleep before 2am then having to wake up for life’s demands can diminish quality of life over time.

Some help would be nice to finally feel waking up refreshed. A new day doesn’t have to start feeling behind already. Melatonin can help your sleep cycle. It is a natural hormone found in our body, but when we need an extra dose, we can supplement with a pill or tablet that can dissolve under the tongue. The pineal gland in the brain makes this hormone.

Melatonin has many types of uses. It can help with jet-lag. Persons with cerebral palsy, insomnia, attention hyper deficit disorder (ADHD), or who have had a traumatic brain injury, can take melatonin to help going to sleep and staying asleep. Others use this sleep-aid to help come off of drugs or to try to quit smoking.

People who are blind also use melatonin to help create a night and day cycle. Other people who can benefit from this supplement are those with restless leg syndrome (RLS), fibromyalgia, or those suffering from depression or bipolar disorder. It can also help with the side effects from having cancer treatment.

This supplement helps the body calm down. When the night time comes, our environment becomes dark outside. This darkness triggers melatonin to be produced.

When light comes in the morning, the body knows it is time to wake up.  People who are unable to sleep, might have low levels of melatonin, decreasing the ability of body to establish recognition that it is time to go to bed. When taken, it can help a person fall asleep faster and improves the overall quality of sleep.

Most people don’t have to take a large quantity of this supplement to experience the effects. In general it is taken about 5mg at a time, but this of course varies among individuals based on their tolerance and cause of poor sleep. It is not meant to be taken forever, although like any medication that is showing improvement to a problem, it can become habit forming.

It is considered mostly safe but can have some side effects such as dizziness, being tired during the day, upset stomach, or headache. It is always best to ask a physician if any current medications being taken can negatively interact when introducing additional melatonin through supplementation into the body.

Studies are mixed when it comes to how well a person’s sleep cycle improves. Melatonin can rescue someone from sleepless nights or it might not create change at all. Most concur that it can help them fall asleep faster, but staying asleep through the night is debatable. It is considered the natural sleep aid as opposed to other prescription medications.

The Lifestyle of the FIT & Healthy knows that lack of sleep reduces quality of life, so if experiencing this tiresome condition, one should consult their doctor to see if melatonin is a suitable option to help address your zzzz’s.

1 comment

Thomas Spradley November 3, 2018 at 10:57 am

People with Restless Leg Syndrome should be careful using melatonin as it is a trigger for RLS for many.

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