We celebrate World Sleep Day on March 19th.
Do you know why we need such a day? Of course, to enlighten people about the need for regular sleep cycles. It is because 45% of the population suffers from sleep disorders. The condition has become a global epidemic where people have started seeking professional help. This year the motto was to educate people about the relationship between good health and regular sleep.
Our body has a natural sleep cycle. The melatonin hormone, or the hormone of darkness, is responsible for our sleep. It is secreted through the enigmatic pineal gland and acts therapeutically to provide adequate rest to the body. But not everyone is blessed with the process. Various sleep disorders are the perfect examples to prove the same. There arouses a need for a melatonin supplement that acts similarly.
The article will educate the readers about melatonin supplements and its uses in our daily life. We will also introduce you to the necessary precautions and possible side effects of melotanin.
What is Melatonin Supplement?
Artificial Melatonin is a medicine made to treat sleep disorders. It is primarily available in pill or capsule form and can be taken through the mouth. Nowadays, a different melatonin variation can either be placed inside the cheek or under the tongue. Melatonin slowly absorbs inside the body and works to rectify the body’s internal clock.
Melatonin has benefits for jet lags, insomnia, circadian rhythm, delay in sleep-wake phase, shift work disorders, and various other sleep disorders in children and adults.
How does the Melatonin hormone work?
To understand the working of melatonin supplements, we must first understand how the natural melatonin hormone works in the body.
The melatonin hormone regulates the body’s sleep-wake cycle, i.e., it helps the body sleep and wake up at a definite time. In other words, the melatonin hormone is responsible for giving a long, deep, and undisturbed sleep. The hormone activates with darkness and induces sleep. With light, the melatonin production decreases, helping you be awake.
With age, melatonin production decreases, and we can see many elders suffering from sleep disorders. Here a melatonin supplement is helpful and can help regulate sleep. Nowadays, due to our hectic lifestyles, melatonin deficiency is not confined to old age. Children and youngsters are equally experiencing the same. Doctors prescribe melatonin supplements to them and adjust the sleep-wake cycle.
What is Melatonin used for?
One of the prominent uses of Melatonin is to adjust the sleep-wake pattern. Below are the conditions wherein melatonin supplement is highly beneficial.
Sleep disorders in Children
Children need sound sleep for their physical and mental growth. There are several studies showing sleep disorders as the prime cause for various neurological diseases in children. When parents approach a doctor concerning their child’s inappropriate sleep patterns, their initial response is to develop good bedtime habits.
But, in some cases, developing a healthy bedtime routine does not make a sufficient difference. Hence, a melatonin supplement with a doctor’s recommendation helps provide a healthy life to the kid.
Delayed sleep phase syndrome
Many people, especially young adults, complain of not being able to sleep even if they go to bed on time. The trouble of falling asleep at the right time disturbs their wake-up call and disrupts the entire schedule.
When this phenomenon is regular to you, the doctor may suggest having melatonin pills. However, the downside of taking melatonin supplements for delayed sleep phase syndrome is that the condition may recur once you stop taking medicine.
Circadian rhythm sleep disorder in the blind
Circadian rhythm sleep disorder is difficulty in sleeping for long hours, frequent disturbances in sleep, waking up too early, and failing to sleep again. A melatonin supplement can help threaten these conditions, especially for blind children and adults facing Non 24-hour sleep-wake disorders.
It is a disorder when one cannot sleep with the 24-hour cycle. For example, you could sleep at 10 PM today but not until 1 AM the next day. The timings keep changing with each night until it reaches 4 to 5 AM. In such a condition, Melatonin becomes vital, an ultimate necessity.
Sometimes some medications decrease melatonin production. One such issue arises with blood pressure medicines. The culprits are beta-blocker drugs (atenolol and propranolol) that have side effects of sleep disturbance. In such a situation, melatonin supplements can help regain your sleep cycle.
Insomnia is a condition when a person has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep for the requisite period. For some, it might be a case of few days, but others may face acute insomnia hindering their physical and mental wellness. Melatonin supplement is helpful in such conditions as it reduces the time taken to fall asleep.
People who are constantly in transit experience jet lag. When a person is continuously traveling across time zones, it adversely affects his sleep cycle.
The frequent changes in time zones make sleep disruption a consistent phenomenon. One also experiences headaches, irritability, and acute insomnia. Taking melatonin supplements can help such people to stay alert and evade daytime sleepiness.
Shift work disorders
Many people have night duties when their sleeping schedule is mainly in the daytime. However, since the body is not aware of the reverse sleep cycle, it becomes difficult for them to shut-eye. Even if they manage to grab some sleep, the quality is highly compromised.
In such situations, a melatonin supplement is helpful to some extent. However, the medicine may not be entirely beneficial for daytime sleep since it activates with darkness.
Healthcare professionals use melatonin hormone along with chemotherapy to treat cancer. The theory is that Melatonin can decrease tumor size and increase his life span if given in high doses.
Endometriosis is a condition when the endometrium tissue grows out of the uterus. It also bleeds along with your menstrual period. However, the tissue has no place to go, and it begins to inflame and scar the surrounding area.
If melatonin pills or capsules are taken, the patient can relieve some pain and get rid of other painkillers. The melatonin supplement also reduces the discomfort and pain during mensuration.
What are the benefits of Melatonin?
Melatonin, a common dietary supplement, has various health benefits.
Helps sleep better
Melatonin is a natural way to improve your sleep pattern. It regulates insomnia in adults and also helps children to enjoy uninterrupted sleep.
GERD or Gastroesophageal reflux disease is the condition when the excess stomach acids flow back to the esophagus, causing acid reflux and burning sensation.
The Melatonin hormone blocks the stomach acids and decreases nitric acid production, eventually allowing the stomach acids to enter the esophagus. Hence, soothing the burning sensation and also dropping the chances of recurrent GERD.
Depression can hit anybody and is a fatal disease if not taken seriously. When a person experiences the first bouts of depression, it is the sleep that deters.
Since we already know that melatonin supplements can help a person sleep, doctors recommend it to a depression patient. Though Melatonin may not treat , But it surely helps the person relax and eases depression symptoms.
Improves eye health
Melatonin supplements are high in antioxidants. It is highly beneficial for eye health as it protects the retina and delays the damage caused to vision due to old age. Researches have also concluded that melatonin supplements can treat glaucoma and muscular degeneration.
What are the side effects of Melatonin?
If you are using Melotanin hormone for a short period, it shows no significant side effects. Researches have also stated that using melatonin pills for 2 years is not a cause of concern.
However, prolonged usage may have the following side effects.
- Mild to severe headache
- Sleepiness during the day
- Stomach cramps
- Ineffectiveness of other drugs
Who should not take Melatonin supplements?
Melatonin supplement or melatonin hormone is an easy way to tuck in and relax for people struggling to sleep. But there is a section of people who must stay away from the drug.
Melatonin may sometimes act as birth control, and those are the last thing to be taken by pregnant women.
Some people did register the sugar level shooting high due to the intake of melatonin supplements. Thus specialists ask diabetes patients to stay away from melatonin supplements.
Though they are the ones struggling the most with sleep patterns, taking Melatonin is not advisable. It is because not enough researches prove that the drug will help a lactating mother.
If you are a person with bleeding disorders, leave the melatonin supplement alone. It can worsen your symptoms and increase bleeding.
In case you experience seizures, it is wise not to take Melatonin as it may increase your chances of having recurrent episodes.
If you had a transplant
People who undergo a transplant might receive immunosuppressive therapy to enhance their immune levels. Melatonin supplements may turn the treatment futile, causing severe immunity problems for the patient.
Careful with children
Though Melatonin helps children to sleep better, the dosage of the drug determines its effects. The safe usage is 3mg for small children and 5 mg for adolescents. It must also be a short-term usage to avoid any complications.
The melatonin drug is beneficial, and many people vouch for its effectiveness. Still, many qualified doctors clearly state that Melatonin may not work for everybody. Hence, it is advisable to take it for short periods to determine the benefits. You can visit your nearby physician for some valuable advice regarding the melatonin supplement.