What is melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland in the brain. Melatonin helps in controlling your sleep wake cycle. Metonin is for sale as a supplement .
What does melatonin do in your body?
Your body has its own internal clock that controls your natural cycle of sleep and wake. Your internal clock determines how much melatonin makes your body. Normally your melatonin level begins to rise in the middle to late evening and stays high for most of the night. In the early morning, your melatonin level drops.
Light affects how much melatonin your body produces. During the short days in the winter months, your body may produce melatonin sooner or later than normal. This change can lead to symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or winter depression.
Natural melatonin levels decline slowly with age. Some older adults make up very small amounts or no more melatonin at all.
Why is melatonin used as a supplement?
Melatonin supplements are sometimes used for the treatment of jet lag and sleep disorders ( insomnia ). Scientists are also looking for other good applications for melatonin, such as:
- Treating Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
- Help in checking the sleep pattern for people who work night services.
- Prevention or reduction of sleep disturbances and confusion after surgery.
- Reduction of chronic cluster headache.
Is it safe to swallow melatonin?
In most cases, melatonin supplements are safe in low doses for the short and long term. But discuss with your GP if you have a long time sleep problems. Insomnia or fatigue during the day may also have a medical cause. Note: Although it is a body-like substance, melatonin may misinterrupt your biological clock if used incorrectly. Always read the instructions on the packaging.
In certain (autoimmune) diseases, melatonin may enhance the symptoms of the disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, leukemia, Crohn’s disease, cervical cancer and liver disease.Caution is also advised in pregnancy and breastfeeding, epilepsy, severe neurological disorders and renal insufficiency. If you have taken melatonin, do not drive or operate machinery.
What are the side effects of melatonin?
Melatonin has side effects. But these disappear when you stop the supplement. Side effects may be:
- Lower body temperature.
- Vibrant dreams.
- Morning humor.
- Small changes in blood pressure.
What is the correct dosage and use of melatonin?
Adults take 0.2 mg to 5.0 mg melatonin depending on the reason for use. The correct dose differs greatly per person. Melatonin should normally not take you just before bedtime but 1 to 2 hours before going to bed. Talk to your doctor for the right dose and use.
Where can you buy melatonin?
You can buy melatonin supplements without a prescription at reform shops, drug stores and online . Melatonin should only be taken by healthy persons.