Sleeping disorders are nothing new but seem to be on the rise over the past few years. Many people are finding it hard to fall asleep nowadays due to the many distractions around us such as screens and noise pollution. As a result, people have been looking for different solutions to deal with their lack of sleep leading to the increasing demand for melatonin supplements.
Melatonin is a hormone produced in the brain that helps regulate your sleep cycle. As you age, your brain produces less melatonin making it harder to fall asleep naturally. Additionally, factors like light exposure, noise and mental illnesses can lead to lower melatonin secretion.
Taking melatonin supplements can help improve your sleep quality as well as other health benefits. It’s a common supplement and in many countries, it can be purchased over the counter. However, medical experts recommend trying natural solutions before taking supplements. Though it’s relatively safe, taking melatonin supplements can have some negative side effects. If you’re considering taking melatonin supplements to help you sleep, here are some pros and cons you should be aware of.
The recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult is 7 hours per night yet, according to research, more than a third of adults sleep for less than 7 hours. Some of the cases can be resolved by taking melatonin supplements. It helps synchronize your sleep-wake patterns by muting the wake-prompting signals in the brain, helping you stay asleep for longer periods. Can’t Sleep? How To Avoid Or Beat Insomnia
Reduces symptoms of seasonal depression
Seasonal depression is when someone experiences mood changes during certain times of the year. It mainly occurs during seasons when there’s less sunlight such as winter and fall. The changes in light exposure can cause interruptions in the body’s circadian rhythm, which increases symptoms of depression. Taking melatonin supplements can help regulate your circadian rhythm and reduce symptoms of seasonal depression. 7 Common Types Of Depression
- Increase human growth hormone
Sleep plays a crucial role in growth and development. This is because our brain produces growth hormones during sleep. Even if we stop growing, we still need growth hormones throughout life to regulate fat, muscles, tissues and bones in our bodies. To avoid experiencing certain physical challenges, you may need to take melatonin supplements so that you can get good quality sleep.
Thanks to its antioxidant properties, melatonin can help prevent cell damage and macular degeneration that lead to poor eyesight. By taking melatonin supplements as well as other important nutrients such as zinc and selenium before bedtime for 6 months, you can stabilize age-related macular degeneration, reducing the chances of vision loss as you age. 7 Ways To Care For Your Eyes
Supports the immune system
People who don’t get enough sleep are at a higher risk of getting sick than those who do. This is because sleep disruptions affect the production of immune cells making it harder for the body to fight infection or injury. Additionally, the body produces a protein known as cytokines which help fight infections and inflammation when we sleep.
Causes drowsiness, nausea and fatigue
Different people react differently to melatonin. For some, it has no negative effect while others can experience a wide range of side effects such as drowsiness, fatigue, nausea, stomach cramps, headaches, and itchy skin. You should take doses of 0.5 – 10 mg per day or according to the recommended dosage on the label as taking more can increase the risk of experiencing negative side effects. Why You’re Always Tired Even After Sleeping Enough
Slows down natural melatonin production
Like any other supplement or medication, your brain starts to rely on melatonin supplements when you take them for a prolonged period. In turn, it slows down the natural production of the hormone making it harder to fall asleep without taking the supplement. Melatonin should only be taken when necessary such as after a long flight or changes in your work schedule. Doctors recommend discontinuation in 2 weeks for people who haven’t seen results and in 2 months for people who have.
Interferes with other medications
If you have any preexisting conditions, you should consult your doctor before taking melatonin supplements. Melatonin can alter the effectiveness of certain prescription drugs. It can increase blood pressure in patients taking blood pressure medication, increase blood sugar levels for diabetics and increase the frequency of seizures.
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