Does Melatonin Really Help with Sleep Problems?

mAlsMelatonin is one of the country’s most popular sleep aids, with millions of people ingesting it right before bed time to assist them with their sleep cycles. However, the efficacy of this substance varies greatly from person to person. So does melatonin really help with sleep problems?

In fact, melatonin is a substance produced naturally by the nervous system to help the body prepare for sleep. This is why the chemical can help someone get a good night’s rest.

Does Melatonin Really Help with Sleep Problems?

If you’re curious about whether melatonin can help you get better sleep, take a look at this overview of the subject. Regardless, you’ll benefit from consulting with a doctor to treat insomnia.

What Is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a naturally occurring substance that the nervous system produces all on its own. Also, melatonin doesn’t necessarily cause sleep per se, but it induces a state of relaxation that prepares the body for sleep.

Melatonin tends to be produced in the body about two hours prior to an individual falling asleep. During this time, you should help your body along by avoiding participating in activities that can interrupt your sleep cycle. This includes things like the following:

  • Watching TV
  • Using your computer or smartphone
  • Turning off bright overhead lights

You should try to engage in activities that relax your central nervous system prior to preparing for sleep. This can help you achieve a solid night’s rest.

The Benefits of Melatonin

Melatonin can help individuals who are suffering from occasional and light insomnia. However, it is not as effective for individuals who are suffering from more severe forms of insomnia and may exacerbate the problem due to the fact that melatonin can foster dependencies.

Melatonin is highly effective at inducing sleep in individuals who are just suffering from mild insomnia that doesn’t necessitate more intensive measures to fix. For these issues, it’s a very simple way to get a better night’s rest.

In general, it is recommended that patients use melatonin sleep supplements sparingly and at low doses. Many physicians recommend that you take 1 to 3 milligrams approximately two hours before your bedtime.

Don’t Become Dependent

As mentioned before, there is a chance that an individual who uses melatonin too much to assist with falling asleep could become dependent on the substance. In addition, this can produce a cycle that exacerbates pre-existing levels of insomnia that a patient is experiencing.

If you’re using melatonin for several weeks and find that it isn’t working, you should consider stopping use. This likely indicates that you should meet with a physician to discuss a more intensive type of sleep treatment to assist with your recuperation.

You should also avoid using melatonin, or at least consult with your physician if you are suffering from some of the following conditions:

  • Depression
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Seizure disorders
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure

There is some minute chance that melatonin supplements might also raise blood sugar levels and increase blood pressure in individuals suffering from conditions like these.

Possible Melatonin Side Effects

Melatonin is a relatively safe substance that is considered nontoxic and isn’t addictive. That means that barring any psychological dependency, melatonin can be taken long term safely by individuals who find that they benefit from the substance.

However, there are some mild side effects that can be anticipated by individuals who take melatonin long term. Some of the following side effects are commonly experienced:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Cold feelings
  • Daytime sleepiness

There are some types of medications that melatonin can interact with negative fashions. Some of the types of medications that should be taken in account include:

  • Blood thinners
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Sleep aids
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Various antidepressants
  • Diabetes medications
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Immunosuppressants

In addition, melatonin may interact negatively with excessive alcohol use. In fact, some studies have indicated that individuals who drink excessive amounts of alcohol may have melatonin deficiencies.

For individuals who suffer from these kinds of disorders, melatonin may actually be a beneficial supplement to take to rectify some of the chemical imbalances that excessive alcohol intake can produce. You can consult with a physician whether or not they think this would be beneficial for you if you’re dealing with this type of issue.

The Best Sleep Doctor in NYC

Sleep MD is a leading sleep doctor in the city of New York. If you’re interested in receiving some kind of treatment for sleep issues that have been plaguing you, don’t hesitate to contact our office today to set up an appointment.

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