Does Melatonin work for sleep?

Does Melatonin work for sleep?

Does Melatonin work for sleep? That is a very relevant question for people that struggle with sleeping, if you have trouble going to sleep or staying asleep and you want to know if Melatonin is good for sleep.

This page will tell you all you need to know about Melatonin, what is melatonin, why we need melatonin in our bodies, does melatonin work for insomnia, is melatonin safe to take and are there melatonin side effects.

Melatonin production

Everybody produces melatonin but in differing amounts, our melatonin levels rise and fall, they are sparked off and rise when the sun sets, these higher levels in the bloodstream jump start our sleep. People turn to melatonin to help with insomnia, difficulty going to sleep and trouble staying asleep. There are other sleep issues that it could be used for delayed sleep disorder, sleep work disorder or jet lag caused by travelling across different time zones


Low Melatonin levels

The ageing process doesn’t help our melatonin levels, in fact it reduces the levels of it, this may be one reason why elderly people have sleep issues. We know that melatonin is triggered by low light surroundings, a lot of people these days are sitting in front of computers which isn’t natural light and doesn’t help the production of melatonin.

Social Jet Lag

Have you ever heard of social jet lag? Well it something that happens to our bodies if we work different shifts or schedules week after week people that work in hospitals or factories will know what I am talking about.

Your body doesn’t know whether it is day or night because of the different shifts consequently it is hard to go to sleep.

Certain medications can affect the production of melatonin medication like beta blockers for heart conditions this can lead to bouts of insomnia. For people with insomnia extra sleep support will be needed. Let’s look at what science tells us about melatonin, sleep disorders and insomnia.


MELATONIN FOR INSOMNIA?

There is no dispute. Melatonin works for sleep.

Melatonin has been shown in many studies to be an effective alternative for sleep deprived people albeit not as effective as sleeping medication, one advantage is that it isn’t as addictive. A circadian related disorder is common amongst people who do shift work, it helps the body to fall asleep when it needs to, it is recommended for people who find it hard to adjust to sleeping during the day after a long night shift.

clinical trial demonstrated increased the sleep efficiency in a number of patients, the trial showed positive results for people who suffer from insomnia, a placebo was also used however the people on the melatonin reported improved sleep quality, better alertness in the morning and better quality of life.

People in the age 50 plus bracket showed the best results. Children also suffer from sleep disorders particularly those who have autism, in the trial children with autism were given melatonin the results showed significant improvements in the onset of sleep, sleep time, number of wake times during sleep.


Insomnia effectsInsomnia

Insomnia in today’s modern fast paced world has become a common condition, people are trying to juggle everything that live has to throw at them, early morning starts,getting the kids ready for school, rush hour traffic, stressful jobs.

All of these things combined can increase stress levels and sometimes become a little bit down causing sleepless nights.

When this happens over a period of time it develops into insomnia meaning little or no sleep at all, of course this leads to tiredness irrational choices and eventually it takes its toll.


So how do you deal with insomnia?

First off don’t reach for medications or supplements to tackle insomnia, most insomnia can be sorted out by changing your behaviour, however this requires some discipline on your side but it will be worth the effort.

There are some good books on how to deal with insomnia on Amazon.

The primary aim should be to get to a stage where your body and mind learn how to fall asleep in tandem without the use of drugs, if this approach doesn’t work only then should you look at alternatives, I recommend natural alternatives especially Melatonin.


Is Melatonin safe to take?

 

Studies conducted over the short term and long term have reported that Melatonin usage:

  • is not linked to insomnia
  • is not linked to melatonin dependence
  • is not linked to withdrawal symptoms

We know from these studies that Melatonin isn’t addictive, we also know that the effects will stay the same even after long term use. It also indicates that if you decide to take it and stop for whatever reason your sleep won’t regress.

It seems to be safe to take in the short term, however we need more long-term studies to make an informed decision on its long-term use. During one study the research showed that Melatonin when given to people with Dementia worsened their mood.

The FDA warned a company in 2011 that sold relaxation brownies pointing out that melatonin in the product wasn’t passed as being safe to consume


Side effects Melatonin

Melatonin can be taken in supplement form, it is safe to take in a low dosage 2 mg each day, it is safe to take long term as much as two years, in rare cases melatonin could cause some side effects such as:

  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Temporary depressed feeling
  • Dizziness
  • Sleeplessness during the day
  • Stomach cramp

NB: If pregnant or breastfeeding it is better to be cautious about taking Melatonin, the studies on people taking Melatonin during pregnancy are limited.


Relaxwell

Things to know about MELATONIN

It is produced and sold in tablet or liquid form, the tablet form may be labelled “time release” meaning that the actual melatonin is released slowly into the bloodstream, on the plus side you might stay asleep for longer, on the negative side because of the slow release it may take it’s time to have the desired effect.

Liquid or spray melatonin gets into the bloodstream faster and start to act quicker than a tablet form, for that reason we recommend a product like SleepWell because it’s faster absorption meaning you will fall asleep quicker.

Relaxwell comes in tablet form, this product contains L-tryptophan the precursor to Melatonin, this product has been used to treat sleep disorders, it produces therapeutic effect through Melatonin mechanisms.

The reports on patients have shown improvement in stage one sleep even with a low dosage of 250 mg, during a trial 2.5 mg was given to people with obstructive sleep apnoea significant improvement was shown with their symptoms.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8229640

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4273450/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK11941/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6764927

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908021/



12 thoughts on “Does Melatonin work for sleep?”

  1. Years ago when I represented a nutritional supplement company, some of my customers purchased melatonin to help with sleeping. Hence this is familiar to me. Your discussion how melatonin helps to induce sleep makes a lot of sense. I can honestly agree with you that melatonin works for sleep. 

    My body must make an excess of melatonin as I never have had problems sleeping. I even drink coffee every night and still fall asleep easily. 

    I strongly recommend melatonin supplements as a sleep aid as it is much more safe compared to sleeping pills. Plus. the quality of sleep will be far superior, 

    Cheers!

    Edwin

    Reply
  2. I struggled with sleep when I travelled from my home country to a different place. For over two months, I couldn’t focus during the day at the laboratory during working hours neither could I enjoy sound sleep at night. I thought I was unfit and needed to go to the hospital but I let time pass and I realized later that it was due to the time shift as you stated. 

    My body has picked up the changes but in cases like this, do you advise taking Melatonin supplement or it’s better for the body to naturally adjust? I’m asking because of the side effect. Thanks for the information 

    Reply
  3. Oh great, I was thinking that j need some information on melatonin and how it helped with sleep and I’m happy that you can answer the questions I have and also give a good recommendation of supplement that works faster too. This is really good and I’m happy that you can share this. Thank you so much for a detailed analysis on how melatonin helps with sleep. Best regards.

    Reply
  4. Wow, thanks for educating us through this wonderful post. There are lots of situation where various people finds it hard to sleep at night and this have been a really difficult situation as they are faced with stress the following day, and when we lack sleep, our brain doesn’t sit well with it.. Looking at this post, there  seem to be a misconception about this use of this product, which is very bad as some people may suffer some effects form using it. Nice of you to share this information.

    Reply
  5. Oh, this is a very good post but I was wondering how melatonin can work for sleep and doesn’t work for insomnia because I think when a person finds it hard to sleep, that’s called insomnia right. Well, thanks for this because I seem to have sleep disorders dues to stress and anxiety. I guess this might be the help that I need. Thank you for sharing this.

    Reply
    • Hi Henderson,

      Thank you for your comments, insomnia happens when someone finds it almost impossible to get any sleep at all, I have updated the information to cover this subject.

      Thanks

      Fintan

      Reply
  6. I could not have needed this at a much better period than this. Melatonin surely work for sleep going by the information provided on here about it and how it truly works. With our ageing comes the need to fight sleeplessness or insomnia and  the need to engage in a much more longer and productive sleep. I think if there was anyone out there ahvjng issues with sleeping, melatonin surely works well for it. Thanks

    Reply

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