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Should You Use Melatonin for Sleep Regularly?(1)


Melatonin is a hormone your body makes that helps regulate when you sleep and wake.1 Your body naturally produces melatonin when it darkens outside, but you can also take it as a supplement.1 People often take melatonin to help them get to sleep or stay asleep.2

Melatonin is not a drug or a sleeping pill and is not addictive for kids or adults. It may be helpful with certain sleep disorders in adults and kids.3 Melatonin supplements for sleep are available as a tablet, caplets, sleepy tea, or gummies.

This article will cover what melatonin is, the reasons someone may use melatonin supplements, the benefits of melatonin, and the safety and dependency of melatonin supplements. It will also review how to take melatonin and the suggested dosages. 

Melatonin as a Sleeping Aid: What Does It Do?

Using melatonin supplements as a sleep aid may help you fall asleep and stay asleep. Research has shown that melatonin can help with specific sleep-related conditions. The data does not support using melatonin as a treatment for insomnia.3


Jet Lag

Jet lag is the tiredness people experience from changing from one time zone to another, usually after a long flight and especially when traveling east. Some studies have shown that melatonin supplements may help prevent or treat jet lag.3

Discuss your case with a sleep specialist to prevent or treat jet lag with melatonin. The protocols differ based on the direction of travel and the number of time zones crossed.4 You can also look for a jet lag app or online calculator.

Another step to correct jet lag is light exposure first thing in the morning and darkness in the evening to reset your circadian rhythm (internal clock).


What Are Circadian Rhythms?

The circadian rhythms that rule your sleep-wake cycle are the 24-hour cycles of the body’s physical, mental, and behavioral processes. They change in response to light and dark and to things like when you eat. A circadian rhythm is also called a biological clock.1

Delayed Sleep-Wake Phase Disorder

Delayed sleep-wake phase disorder is a sleep disorder that makes a person’s natural sleep time two or more hours later than conventional or acceptable bedtime. This makes it hard to wake up at a regular time.3

Some studies have suggested that melatonin supplements could help people with delayed sleep-wake phase disorder go to sleep earlier, but the evidence isn’t solid.3

To treat delayed sleep-wake phase disorder, try a low dose of melatonin of about 0.5 milligrams (mg) an hour before the desired bedtime. Studies found that, along with lifestyle changes, this melatonin supplement helped people fall asleep earlier and sleep better during the first third of time in bed on treatment days.5

Some Sleep Disorders in Children

Children with atopic dermatitisasthmaattention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or autism spectrum disorder may have trouble sleeping. Studies have suggested that melatonin supplements may help children with these disorders fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer.3

Talk to your child's healthcare provider if you are considering using melatonin to treat the child's sleep disorder.6

Anxiety Before and After Surgery

About 80% of people feel anxious when faced with a surgical procedure. Studies have shown a melatonin supplement may be as effective as an antianxiety medication for this indication.3

Talk to your healthcare provider to prevent or treat surgical anxiety with melatonin.  

Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder

People who are blind may have trouble sleeping because they can’t detect light and therefore are missing a crucial cue that sets the sleep-wake cycle. In these people, taking melatonin at bedtime can help improve sleep.2


To treat non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder with melatonin, take 0.5 mg of melatonin 40 minutes before bedtime.5


Reasons for Disrupted Melatonin Cycles

Your melatonin cycle is one of many 24-hour circadian rhythms that regulate your body. These cycles determine when we feel sleepy and when we’re awake. Melatonin is controlled mainly by exposure to light.1


The main factor disrupting the melatonin cycle is a lack of exposure to natural light early in the morning. This issue can occur seasonally when the days (and mornings, especially) get darker or if you live near the North or South Poles, where there are long dark seasons with barely any sun.7


Other things that can disrupt the melatonin cycle are unusual sleep and wake hours (for example, shift work), a lack of sleep hygiene (habits that promote good sleep), exposure to too much bright or blue light during the evening, and a lack of physical activity during the day.7


People also make less melatonin as they age. Illness, diet, and medications could also reduce melatonin production.5


Ideal Time to Take Melatonin

Generally, the best time to take a melatonin supplement is about 40 minutes before sleep. That’s about how long the hormone takes from your stomach into your blood.7


The schedule for taking melatonin for jet lag varies with the direction of travel and the number of times zones crossed.4 It is best to consult a healthcare provider or use an app or online resource to determine when to use it for jet lag.


How Much Melatonin to Take for Sleep

Start with the lowest dose of melatonin you can find if you’re taking it to help you sleep.


The pineal gland typically makes between 0.1 and 0.9 mg of melatonin daily.5 If you take an oral supplement, about one-third to one-half of it enters the bloodstream.7 So an adult dose from 0.3 mg to 5 mg should be sufficiently effective. Lower doses often work as well as higher doses, if not better.8


In most cases, 10 mg of melatonin is too much melatonin. This high dose will often lead to blood levels much higher than are natural. This may increase your risk of side effects, especially daytime sleepiness.8


It takes as little as 0.1 mg to 0.3 mg of melatonin to get blood levels of melatonin into the normal nighttime range for young adults.9


More Is Not Better

If melatonin does not help you sleep, you may take too much. More is not better when it comes to melatonin. Often, a tiny dose is enough to increase your blood levels of this hormone to normal levels. Try taking less, and take active steps to improve your sleep hygiene and get activity and sunlight as early in the day as possible.8

It’s OK to take melatonin daily for up to six months for adults and three months for children. Talk to a healthcare provider if you still have sleep issues after taking melatonin and after altering your lifestyle to improve your sleep and reset your circadian rhythm.2


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    Add: No.2,Yingling 2nd Road,Huangzhou Railway Station Economic Development Zone,HuanggangCity,
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