If you’re like most American adults, you have times when you struggle to sleep. If you suffer from insomnia, we encourage you to reap the sleep-inducing, anti-aging benefits of melatonin.
Melatonin has been a popular nutritional supplement in recent years because of its many health benefits and its low incidence of side effects. Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally made by the body, and it regulates the sleep and wake cycles to keep the body on a healthy sleep schedule. In addition, it has antioxidant effects that are important for repairing damage done by free radicals and for fighting the aging process.*
It has also been shown to enhance the immune system and help with memory. It is often taken by those who suffer from insomnia and those who want to prevent jet lag when they travel. With the right dosage, it can help you to get deeper sleep and to avoid grogginess during the day.*
It’s important to find the right dosage of melatonin for your needs. Starting with a low dose can let you know whether that dosage will work of you or whether you need a higher one to get a good night’s sleep. Starting with about 3 mg of melatonin at bedtime, assess whether it helps you to sleep well and whether you feel drowsy in the morning. If you have morning grogginess, take a smaller dose the next night or take your next dose earlier in the evening. If your doctor has suggested that you take this supplement, ask about the dosage you should start with and whether you should increase the dosage suggested to you if you still can’t sleep deeply.
Because it is non-addictive and patients see a low incidence of grogginess the next day, melatonin is often the first choice for those who want to fight aging, feel better during the day and get better sleep at night.
Possible side effects of using it include having more vivid dreams and having grogginess in the morning as well as a hangover-like feeling during the day. Adjusting your dosage and the time of day that the supplement is taken can often help with these symptoms. Some experience mild stomach upset with Melatonin supplements.
Taking this supplement along with sedating drugs such as sedating antidepressants and antihistamines can lead to an extra level of sedation that can lead to a higher chance of side effects. Taking doses of as much as 24 grams a day for a month has been found to have no serious effects, though doses that high are not recommended by doctors. Overall, the side effects of taking this supplement are mild and it is well tolerated by most people because it is a substance naturally made by the pineal gland.