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How Does Melatonin Affect Sleep?

August 17, 2022 5 min read

How Does Melatonin Affect Sleep?

How Does Melatonin Affect Sleep?

Countless sleep aids can treat sleep disorders effectively for better sleep quality and cycles. Melatonin supplements are among the top sleep products used to prevent and control sleep disorders. This blog discusses how melatonin can be used for sleep, how it works, the risks, and its possible benefits.

Do you struggle to fall asleep or awake in the morning? Worry less as you are among the wide population struggling with sleep disorders such as insomnia. Lack of adequate sleep can create many worries and negatively affect your health. Sleep supplements or aids have been marketed to help lower certain issues contributing to poor sleep. Melatonin is one of the most used sleep aids on the market. Are you curious about trying or wondering if melatonin can improve your sleep? Read on to discover how you can better your sleep cycles using melatonin supplements.

What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a naturally produced chemical or hormone in the body that is responsible for promoting sound sleep. Chang & Chiang (2016) noted that melatonin hormones perform several bodily functions, such as regulating our circadian rhythm, which boosts quiet wakefulness or night melatonin onset. Increased melatonin chemicals in the body can boost your overall sleep health and quality as they support sound sleep. Natural melatonin works by inducing quiet wakefulness in the evening till late at night, enhancing sleep.

People tend to release melatonin chemicals naturally in the body. In situations where your melatonin levels are too slow, you might find yourself constantly troubled by insomnia, anxiety, or other issues that impact your sleep negatively. Zhang et al. (2020) stated that using melatonin sleep aids is one of the best ways to increase your melatonin chemicals in the body for better sleep.

Ways To Naturally Increase Melatonin For Quality Sleep

When looking to reverse sleep problems caused by low melatonin amounts, it’s essential to know ways that can be used to keep the natural production high.

Lower Habits That Can Contribute To Melatonin Decline

Our lifestyle habits generally affect almost everything in our daily lives, including sleep. Melatonin hormones in the body raise in the evening to promote quality sleep when going to bed. Having optimal sleep conditions can stimulate the production and release in the brain to give you adequate sleep. However, certain lifestyle habits include keeping the lights on at night, using blue screen devices in bed, or drinking coffee at night. Blue and green screens or light suppress the formation of melatonin hormones, reducing the amount of sleep you are likely to get at night. Try to get more exposure to the sun or daylight to increase your melatonin formation.

Other harmful habits such as poor diets, smoking, and excessive drinking can also contribute to poor sleep cycles as the harmful chemicals disrupt the formation of more melatonin. Adopt healthy behaviors to turn around your poor sleep patterns and increase melatonin production.

How Does Melatonin for Sleep Work

According to Anwar et al. (2015), melatonin supplements work by stimulating the melatonin receptors in the brain to spike the release of more sleep hormones. Taking melatonin sleep aids can positively affect how the circadian rhythm works as the melatonin treatments enhance circulation levels and make your brain calmer, especially in the evenings. With limited studies to support the effectiveness and safety of melatonin sleep aids, getting approval from a health professional before opting for them is recommended. Melatonin increases your sleep duration and can reverse individuals with delayed sleep syndrome or constant insomnia issues. Being a dietary supplement, Xie et al. (2017) discovered that melatonin is not yet approved as the best treatment for any sleep disorder. A melatonin supplement can work in one individual and fail in another due to our differences in the circadian rhythm and melatonin receptors.

Does Melatonin Reduce Insomnia?

Melatonin supplements have shown to cure some common factors of insomnia and hence can aid in preventing or lowering it. Some popular melatonin aids, such as Rameldon, are considered effective in reducing insomnia. They bind and stimulate the melatonin receptors in the brain to increase its production, eventually benefiting your insomnia symptoms.

You can take melatonin supplements for those with irregular sleep cycles to promote better sleep. The supplements help people fall asleep faster and improve their REM sleep to combat insomnia issues.

What Melatonin Dosage Should I Take?

Monitoring your consumption of melatonin is key to preventing any potential side effects that might arise from using the products. Ensure you take less melatonin daily to minimize any risks of being jet-lagged due to excessive doses. Taking 1 to 3mg of melatonin is enough to give you the amount of sleep you need and prevent any condition that affects your sleep. The key is to use the supplements in moderate amounts.

Risks Of Taking Melatonin Supplements

Some research has linked the intake of melatonin supplements with an increased risk of hypertension or high blood sugar, more so in pregnant women and the elderly.

Alternatives To Melatonin Supplements

Not all people might find melatonin sleep aids suitable for them. Several alternatives can be used for sleep when not ready for melatonin.

CBD Supplements

CBD is among the top sleep aids in the market, and its use has increased recently. CBD contains Cannabidiol compounds that can induce peaceful sleep when interacting with the nervous system. The endocannabinoid system paces circadian rhythm and relaxes the body, making it easier to fall asleep and improve sleep patterns. You can shop for various CBD supplements for improved sleep, including gummies, pills, oils, and tinctures. Similar to melatonin, take the supplements in moderate amounts and high-quality products.

The Bottom Line

Melatonin supplements can aid in increasing the amounts of melatonin chemicals for better sleep. The products come as dietary supplements and trigger the melatonin receptors in your central nervous system to increase their release. Before taking any supplement, check for the effectiveness and potential side effects to minimize unintended risks. Melatonin supplements are divided into several compounds to offer benefits to the body, including help with sleep disorders. Take the required dose to experience these benefits and avoid the interaction with the body due to excessive consumption.

References

Anwar, M. J., Muhammad, B. Y., Bader, A. A., Abdulghani, M., Mahmood, D., & Haider, M. (2015). An Insight Into The Scientific Background And Future Perspectives For The Potential Uses Of Melatonin. Egyptian Journal Of Basic And Applied Sciences, 2(3), 139-152.

Chang, Y. S., & Chiang, B. L. (2016). Mechanism Of Sleep Disturbance In Children With Atopic Dermatitis And The Role Of The Circadian Rhythm And Melatonin. International Journal Of Molecular Sciences, 17(4), 462.

Xie, Z., Chen, F., Li, W. A., Geng, X., Li, C., Meng, X., ... & Yu, F. (2017). A Review Of Sleep Disorders And Melatonin. Neurological Research, 39(6), 559-565.

Zhang, J., Yan, X., Tian, Y., Li, W., Wang, H., Li, Q., ... & Wu, T. (2020). Synthesis Of A New Water-Soluble Melatonin Derivative With Low Toxicity And A Strong Effect On Sleep Aid. ACS Omega, 5(12), 6494-6499.