Getting a good night's sleep is a must for most people. But for some getting nightly zzzs is a struggle. When having problems sleeping or living with a sleep disorder, many people turn to sleep aids for relief. One common sleep remedy that improves sleep quality is taking melatonin. Melatonin is a natural substance produced in the pineal gland and helps people fall asleep at night.
Taking a melatonin supplement may help improve circadian rhythms. However, when using the natural supplement one of the biggest concerns is, “What are the side effects of melatonin?”
Most studies show little to no side-effects taking melatonin for short periods. Melatonin is generally considered safe for adults, children, and adolescents.
Since melatonin is produced naturally in the body, some clinical trials show that melatonin sleep product might interfere with your sleep/wake rhythm when not taking it. Your body might stop producing melatonin because it becomes used to receiving a melatonin dose every day. But studies to support melatonin disrupting your sleep habits and causing you to have trouble falling asleep are small.
In one clinical trial, 16 men taking melatonin sleep medicine reduced their blood pressure. However, for those already taking blood pressure medications, supplementing with melatonin might have the opposite effect.
While melatonin improves healthy sleep, it might make a circadian rhythm disorder or sleep phase disorder worse if taken during the day or late at night. According to the American Academy of Sleep, sleep disorders are when your "biological clock" becomes imbalanced. You go to bed too late and sleep most of the day. Or have a hard time falling asleep. Melatonin improves sleep but needs to be taken in low doses one hour before bedtime.
Research suggests that melatonin dietary supplements and sleep medication like Ambien or Dalmane interact poorly together. Sleeping pills already use chemicals and hormones to help regulate your sleep cycle. Adding 5 mg of melatonin or more could make the sleep medication not as effective or make you sleep too much. When using prescription sleeping pills, it's essential to consult with your doctor when adding other sleep aids.
While melatonin is considered safe, some randomized controlled trials, showed the following side effects:
Getting a restful slumber is essential for men's health and women's health. The health benefits of getting eight or more hours of sleep each night have been well-researched, but when you struggle to fall asleep taking melatonin is a safe option. Yet, being aware of the possible side effects will help you understand when the natural supplement isn't right for your health.
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