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Everyone experiences sleep problems—whether minor or significant—at some point in their life. Is melatonin an effective option for improving sleep?
Read on to find out!
Melatonin is a hormone produced by the body in reaction to variations in light. Your body produces more of it when light is dimmer (evening) and less when it’s brighter (morning).
Most supplements contain synthetic melatonin made in a lab. However it can also be extracted from the brains of some animals. Melatonin supplements come in various pill forms (e.g., regular, fast-acting, or time-release) or as a solution (drops or sprays). The choice of one over the other is a matter of personal preference.
Some studies have shown that melatonin may be beneficial in the following situations:
Melatonin supplements do not appear to be effective for people who wake during the night and are unable to fall asleep again.
Since it is not known whether long-term use of melatonin can have a harmful effect on sleep or health, melatonin supplements should only be taken for short periods.
Melatonin is generally well tolerated. However, it can sometimes cause adverse side effects like nausea, headaches, dizziness, or persistent drowsiness upon waking.
Sleep disorders are often the result of poor sleep habits or factors than can be altered or eliminated.
If, despite your efforts, you are still having trouble sleeping, consult your pharmacist. If you are taking medication, it may have an impact on your sleep. If so, they will recommend a solution for your specific needs.
The information contained herein is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide complete information on the subject matter or to replace the advice of a health professional. This information does not constitute medical consultation, diagnosis or opinion and should not be interpreted as such. Please consult your health care provider if you have any questions about your health, medications or treatment.