According to some studies, lack of sleep affects up to 30% of adults in the US, with some startling long term side effects including high blood pressure and diabetes.
Melatonin is a hormone your body and all other creatures make when it is time to go to sleep. Naturally our bodies want to begin making melatonin around dusk when the sun is beginning to set and night falls.
Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland in the brain and is often referred to as the “sleep hormone”. Modern life and luxuries such busy work schedules and indoor lighting can throw off our bodies' circadian rhythm therefore affecting our melatonin production.
Melatonin supplementation is being widely studied for its effects on sleep quality,
How Does Melatonin Work
Melatonin is produced naturally by our bodies, and as such is not a sleeping pill but rather a sleep supplement. Melatonin aids your body in falling asleep, by signalling that it is nighttime and that you can now relax.
Melatonin works alongside your body's circadian rhythm, your internal clock that lets your body know when it is time to sleep, time to wake and when it is time to eat.
This makes melatonin supplementation increasingly popular, as a relatively side effect free option to improve sleep quality and temporary sleep disorders such as jet leg or stress induced insomnia. Available in capsules, gummies, inhalers, vaporizers and even as an ingredient in sleepy time tea blends.
The Science on Sleep Quality and Quantity
While more research is needed, current studies indicate that taking a form of melatonin before bed may help your body to relax, and fall asleep more quickly.
An analysis of multiple studies of people with varying types of sleep disorders, found that melatonin helped reduce the average time it took to fall asleep by eight minutes.
A recent study evaluated the effects of exogenous melatonin on disturbed REM sleep in humans. Patients in this study recieved a measured dose of melatonin on a specific schedule over the course of 4 weeks.
The results of this study showed that melatonin was drastically more effective than the placebo. Patients on melatonin experienced an increase in REM sleep percentage, which led to significant improvements in daytime functioning.
These findings were confirmed in a second study where the effects outlasted the period of melatonin use, and faded only slowly over time.
Melatonin is quickly becoming a popular and readily available option for regulating sleep patterns, adjusting to shift work or overcoming jet lag. With many options on the market research continues to be conducted on the best forms of melatonin available.
over dosages. It is an effective way to ensure you are receiving the correct dose to help balance your circadian rhythm and gain a restful night's sleep.
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