What Is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone inside us that anticipates the daily onset of darkness. Melatonin is the reason we start to get sleepy as the sun begins to set. It’s also the reason why our eyes grow heavy when the lights are off. Melatonin is meant to work on a pattern. It pops its head out when it’s time to go to sleep, and then it says goodbye as the sun rises. Our bodies don’t always work the way we would like them to, though. This is why melatonin is sold as a supplement in most drug stores. Just like every supplement, it is important to know when to take melatonin. Timing your melatonin intake correctly can optimize the benefit of the supplement.
When To Take Melatonin
Melatonin should be taken when a person’s sleep-wake cycle or circadian rhythm is interrupted. In simpler terms, when to take melatonin is determined when and if you’re having trouble falling asleep at night and can’t get your sleep schedule on track. This occurs because sometimes our bodies struggle to create melatonin.
The light outside of our houses, or work buildings, or schools has more of an effect on us that we’d like to believe. The natural melatonin in our bodies is very sensitive to the light around us. During the seasonal time changes, such as the shorter days during the fall and winter months, our bodies may produce melatonin at an odd part of the day – too early or too late. This is where melatonin supplements can come into play. Also, our natural melatonin levels drastically decrease with age. Older adults have trouble making melatonin – some produce none at all. It’s also helpful at getting our internal clocks back on track when we’re struggling with jet lag or other sleep disorders.
While the timing of when you take melatonin is important, the dosage is just as important. If not more. It is commonly assumed that the more melatonin you take, the better your night’s sleep will be. However, too much at once can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, or irritability.
For people struggling with insomnia or have occasional trouble with sleeping, doctors recommend taking between two tenths of a milligram and five milligrams 30-60 minutes before bedtime. It’s important to start with the lowest dosage and work your way up as you see fit.
What Are The Benefits Of Melatonin?
- Improves sleep schedule
- Increases energy levels
- Boosts immune system
- Decreases inflammation
- Fights depression
- Anti-aging therapy
- Anti-cancer benefits (triggers cancer cell apoptosis or self destruction)
- Decreases toxicity of cancer chemotherapy
- Being used to help combat memory loss (dementia and alzheimer’s)
- Proven effective in helping with a long list of conditions and disorders
What Are The Risks Of Melatonin?
Melatonin is an all natural supplement. It is the only hormone that can be purchased in just about any store. The side effects are few and not very serious.
- Daytime sleepiness
- Mild anxiety
- Abdominal discomfort
- Slight feeling of depression
Top Brands Of Melatonin
- Now Foods
- Nature Made
- Source Naturals
Melatonin is a wonderful and useful supplement. Remember – when to take melatonin is the most important question to answer before you begin using the supplement.