Are you having a hard time sleeping? Yeah, me too. Before Valerian Root (Calm Tabs), I used to take Melatonin for sleep. It was effective for me for some time, but I wasn’t that satisfied. How much Melatonin should you take and how often? Let’s learn more about this sleeping-aid supplement and what the experts have to say below.
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland which inhibits melanin formation and is thought to be concerned with regulating the reproductive cycle. Melatonin can be used to treat delayed sleep phase and circadian rhythm sleep disorders in the blind and provide some insomnia relief. Treat melatonin as you would any sleeping pill and use it under your doctor’s supervision.
How does Melatonin work for sleep?
Melatonin works together with your body’s circadian rhythm. In layman’s terms, the circadian rhythm is your body’s internal clock. It lets you know when it’s time to sleep, wake and eat.
Our Melatonin levels naturally rises in the dark, telling our body when it’s time to sleep. That’s why it’s advised to turn off lights and digital devices before going to bed. In our eyes, it reduces dopamine levels, the hormone that helps us stay awake.
Light controls the production of melatonin. This is how our body knows when we’re supposed to wake up. Either by sunlight or light bulbs. It’s best to have your bedroom beside a window for natural light to enter
As melatonin helps your body prepare for sleep, there are a few people who don’t make enough of it at night and experiences struggle to fall asleep.
Factors that may cause low levels of melatonin:
- Exposure to too much light at night (including blue light from mobile devices)
- Not getting enough natural light during the day
- Shift work
Taking a melatonin supplement may help counter low levels and normalize your internal clock.
Melatonin Dosage: How much should I take?
A safe dose of Melatonin is the lowest dose that’s effective in helping you fall asleep without causing side effects. In general, a dose between 0.2 and 5 mg is considered a safe starting dose.
A safe dose will depend on your body weight, age, and sensitivity to the supplement.
Can I overdose from Melatonin?
Too much melatonin can have the opposite effect of its intended purpose. It can make it harder to sleep because your normal circadian rhythms will be disrupted. An overdose can also leave you feeling groggy and sleepy during the day and give you nightmares or extremely vivid dreams at night.