Melatonin for Sleep – Healthy Women



are you one one third Americans struggling to get the recommended amount of sleep? As sleep problems worsen pandemic stressesmany are turning to popular sleep aids like melatonin supplements to help catch the Z.

According to NielsenIQ, Americans spent more than a billion dollars on melatonin supplements last year, and high-dose melatonin use triple the since 1999. But is this sleep aid safe? we asked Dr. Smita Patelan integrative neurologist and sleep medicine physician who is a member of Healthy Women Women’s Health Advisory Councilto learn more.

What is melatonin?

We naturally produce melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate our sleep cycle, or “circadian rhythm” — The 24-hour cycle of sleep and activity. When the sun goes down in the evening, melatonin production peaks and signals our body that it’s time to go to bed. As our melatonin levels drop in the morning, we begin to wake up.

The most important factor for melatonin production is exposure to light. “The light is the part that sets the rhythm,” Patel said. He also explained that synthetic light can disrupt melatonin production. “When our bodies see the light in the evening, melatonin production stops. That’s why we want to try to minimize the light in the evening. [much as] It is possible to try to keep our circadian rhythm under control.”

Melatonin is naturally synthesized serotonin, a neurotransmitter, in the pineal gland in our brain. While humans produce melatonin on our own, we can take it in gummy, liquid, or capsule form as an over-the-counter (OTC) dietary supplement. Melatonin can be supplemented synthetically or using animals and microorganisms.

Does synthetic melatonin work?

Studies have shown that melatonin supplements improve sleep qualityhowever, more studies are needed to understand the long-term effects of melatonin supplements. We also do not know the risks of using high doses of melatonin. Check with your healthcare professional (HCP) how much melatonin would be right for you.

Studies show that melatonin supplements help with these conditions:

Melatonin supplements should not be used to counter the harmful effects of late night screen time. “It’s not like consume the media and then take a melatonin. I wouldn’t use it like that. In fact, I’d use it more for people who don’t ride a bike, need help getting to bed on time, or need to travel,” Patel advised. “It’s like putting your hand on a hot fire and then putting it in an ice bath.”

Side effects melatonin supplements may include headache, dizziness, nausea, and nervousness. And the use of melatonin too vivid dreams or nightmares; This may be because melatonin causes the body to stay in deeper sleep longer, as the REM cycle, the deepest stage of our sleep cycle, is often associated with more intense dreaming.

Warnings about melatonin

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not regulate supplements, including melatonin, and last study It found that over 71% of melatonin supplement brands do not advertise their labels. What’s more, 26% of the melatonin supplements surveyed contained serotonin, a dangerous pollutant that can cause a fatal overdose even at low levels.

This study highlights the importance of being confident. supplements come from trusted companies. Patel recommends looking for third-party validators on the packaging of your melatonin supplement. Common third-party validators include United States Pharmacopeia (USP), NSF International, Underwriters Laboratories or Consumer Labs.

It is always best to consult your healthcare provider before starting any supplement, and those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or have an autoimmune disorder stay away from melatonin.

As helpful as melatonin supplements are, it’s important to remember that exposure to light is much stronger. Strategically reducing light exposure and avoiding light sources as your bedtime approaches can have a huge impact on your ability to sleep on time.



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