Can melatonin help you sleep?

Are you tossing and turning all night, staring at the ceiling like it owes you money? Well, look no further (whoops), because melatonin might be just what you need.

Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate sleep-wake cycles. It’s found naturally in our bodies, but can also be taken as a supplement to help combat insomnia or jet lag. But does it really work? Let’s take a closer look.

What is melatonin?

As I just mentioned (pay attention people!), melatonin is a hormone that helps us fall asleep and wake up at appropriate times. Our bodies naturally produce this hormone in response to darkness and suppresses it when light hits our eyes (thanks body!).

However, things like late-night Netflix binges or working graveyard shifts can disrupt this natural process (curses!). That’s where supplements come in handy (and not the muscle-building kind).

How does melatonin work?

When we take a dose of melatonin, it signals our brains that it’s time for beddy-bye (yawn). This slows down brain activity and lowers your body temperature which makes drowsiness more likely (to clarify: lowering body temperature on purpose with cold water before sleeping works too!).

Studies have shown that people who took an average of 2mg-5mg of synthetic supplemental-melatonin nightly fell asleep faster than those who didn’t take any but results vary based on factors such as age and weight so read up carefully if considering taking them under heavy medical guidance (OR JUST ASK GOOGLE AND FACEBOOK STUPIDITY WILL BE AT ITS FINEST iS iT nOt??? Sorry about my momentary loss…carry on!)!

But hold onto your pillows…(if they aren’t already scattered around) there are some potential side effects (ummm…I thought nothing was perfect?)

What are the side effects of melatonin?

While taking synthetic melatonin supplement can be helpful, it’s definitely not without its side-effects (NOPE! NOTHING IS PERFECT I TELL YOU!)

Some common ones include:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Mood swings (wait…people still use that term?)
  • Daytime drowsiness (well…at least you know it works)
    (make some space)

But before you swear off supplements completely, keep in mind that these symptoms usually go away on their own as your body adjusts to the new hormones (or maybe because they decided to leave and moved onto someone else’s room for all we know…bitter pills huh?) Additionally, taking smaller doses of 0.3mg or less may decrease likelihood of serious complications.

Who should take melatonin?

Melatonin is generally regarded as safe but isn’t for everyone (totally didn’t see that coming). People with autoimmune conditions or who are pregnant (pregnant auto-immune Sasquatch please stay put) should avoid any kind of hormonal suppletion without at a doctor’s approval.. In fact, consult with a physician prior supplementing melatonin intake especially if you’re currently on other types of medication (just saying).

Teenagers who have naturally occurring delayed sleep phase syndrome might benefit from supplemental-melatonin too but only under close-watch care by healthcare providers(between superpowered educators and concerned parents we got this i hope!)

It’s important to remember though that steps like putting away bright-lights ad electronic devices earlier also play big parts in regulating wayward sleep routines kinda like an esoteric dance party between us and our brains(wow sounds…………colorful??)

How much melatonin is safe?

The typical dosages range anywhere from 0.2mg up to gigantic-doses-of 20mg (yikes) per day. However taking 0.3mg to1mg an hour before bedtime seems like a reasonable starting point (unless you happen to be King Kong, then…we got different problems here). 

If you’re dealing with serious sleep issues or insomnia, talk to (WHOOPS! NO ACTUAL REFERENCE HERE!) a doctor before trying out any new supplements (use your brain and intuition too!). A professional opinion is always gonna be vastly different from drunken chatter between Buzzfeed buds telling other drunk Buzzfeed buds….

What are some natural sources of melatonin?

But wait; there’s more! You don’t have to take synthetic melatonin supplements at all! In fact, consuming certain foods that contain high levels of naturally occurring will suffice for much lower doses.

Some good options include:

  • Cherries
  • Walnuts
  • Oats
  • Turkey meat (as long as it’s not dry turkey-meat… man….that sht needs all the help it can get)
    (at the risk of sounding naive) It doesn’t hurt having bowls filled with cherries beside your bed every night as I’m sure they aren’t low on satiety values either!

The bottom line

(pay attention this time!) so….yes AND no—melatonin supplements could help you fall asleep faster but shouldn’t be taken lightly cause let’s face it: Too much or too little off-the-chart hormone-release can whack-a-noodle an otherwise healthy body System anyways!

It’s always best to approach these things carefully and under the guidance of professionals if needed(YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT)

Additionally, try implementing natural sources first (!(never hurts right?)!. Things like avoiding caffeine late in the day and establishing calming routines prior sleep-time such meditation may make big differences potentially without causing unexpected side-effects were working against physiological-rhythms happens making us want to crawl under the covers at daylight hours while burbling in our own song!

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