Melatonin Supplement Therapy: An Overview of Its Effectiveness
Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by the body at night in response to darkness. It is known to play a role in sleep because it helps regulate the body’s circadian rhythms or 24-hour clock. It is believed that melatonin plays other unidentified physiological functions in the body. Melatonin is considered to also be one of the stress hormones which are necessary and beneficial in the proper amounts. It is known that being exposed to light at night reduces the production of melatonin, and that melatonin production diminishes with age. Melatonin supplements come in tablets and capsules and may even be added to some IV solutions. While melatonin supplements can be made from animals or microorganisms, most melatonin supplements are made synthetically in a lab.
Many people feel like they become sleepy after taking melatonin. Yet, melatonin is not actually the sleep hormone many people believe it to be. What melatonin does is put people in what could be called a drowsy stupor. So, why all the melatonin supplements? Well, melatonin does affect sleep patterns, but it is does not cause sleep. Melatonin does help with a variety of sleep disorders. It is effectively used to treat circadian rhythm sleep disorders in the blind. Melatonin can be used in insomnia cases to help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, however; it should not be used as a longtime solution as too much melatonin can cause headaches, drowsiness, nausea, dizziness, or confusion.
Research does suggest that melatonin might reduce restlessness and evening confusion in people with Alzheimer’s disease. Melatonin does help with jet lag by reducing daytime sleepiness and improving alertness. Melatonin may help with shift change disorder which occurs in people who don’t work the traditional morning to evening shifts. Melatonin supplements definitely help as people age and their bodies start producing less of this hormone, however; melatonin needs to be treated like any other medication and be used under a health care professional’s supervision.
Poor sleep or disrupted sleep impacts the levels of hunger hormones in the body. These hormones when produced at the proper times and in the proper amounts, help the body’s metabolism work efficiently. Metabolism is a chemical process in the body that produces energy from food and nutrients When these hormones are affected by lack of sleep, they disrupt hunger, food intake, and appetite all of which can cause weight gain. Sleep has a great impact on the production of human growth hormones or HGH in the body.
Cutting sleep means cutting the levels of HGH. Less HGH may mean more injuries, a weakened immune system, and a tendency to gain belly fat. About 75% of HGH is produced at night while the body is sleeping, especially during the first part of stage 3 sleep, otherwise known as deep sleep. During sleep, HGH works to repair and restore the body from day-to-day wear and tear it faces. Without a good night’s sleep, this rebuilding process is stalled. Without this rebuilding process, the body ages more rapidly. Healthy levels of HGH also help to improve memory and focus and relieve stress and anxiety. Just another good reason to get a good night’s sleep.
But since sleep is important to all of your body functions, what is the best way to handle insomnia or other sleep disorders. First, you should always talk with a trusted health care professional before you even consider taking supplemental hormones, but there are lifestyles changes you can make now that will also be suggested by your health care professional. How can you improve your circadian rhythm naturally without the added he[p of melatonin supplements? Keeping a strict sleep routine is important. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day will help your body reset its internal clock.
Since everyone’s circadian rhythm is individual, you may need to experiment with your sleep cycle until you find the best time for you. Get exposure to natural light in the morning as soon as you wake up. Since the circadian system of the body is triggered by light, expose yourself to sunlight soon after waking up. The light can be from a natural source or from a light therapy source. Try to cut out or limit your daily naps. Avoid consuming certain foods, such as caffeine, before bedtime.
Have your doctor test you to make sure you are receiving the right amount of nutrients and vitamins for healthy sleep and energy. Try to only eat when the sun is up. Delayed meals affect plasma glucose. Minimize blue light in the evening and eliminate it while you are sleeping. Since the body interprets blue light as sunlight, you may want to wear orange tinted glasses to watch television at night. Sleep in pitch black without lights, including those of TV’s or other electronic devices, and in a cool environment. Improving your body’s circadian rhythm is one of the best types of preventative medicines. Also, you may want to invest in a better mattress since you are spending at least a third of your life on it.
How can Androgenix help?
If you are having difficulties sleeping or maintaining a normal sleep pattern then talk with our staff and doctors at Androgenix. If you constantly feel tired or sluggish, we are here to help. There may be underlying causes to your inability to enjoy a restful night’s sleep and we at Androgenix want to help you sleep and feel better. Also, if you have any concerns about other areas of your health, please contact our office and make an appointment with our staff to get a complete blood work-up and a physical examination. Our staff of caring healthcare practitioners are here to answer your questions and develop an appropriate treatment plan for you. You will be monitored by our team for treatment effectiveness and side effects of any recommended treatment on a regular basis. Our team at Androgenix is always here to support your journey to a better, healthier, and happier you. Every person who enters our doors is treated as an individual deserving of care and respect. We can help you feel and look better. Give us a call today.
- Melatonin and Sleep | Sleep Foundation
- Melatonin for Sleep: Does It Work? | Johns Hopkins Medicine
- Melatonin Isn’t a Sleeping Pill: 3 Reasons to Avoid Melatonin (empoweredsustenance.com)
- Melatonin – Mayo Clinic
- Melatonin: What You Need To Know | NCCIH (nih.gov)
*Unless otherwise stated, individual results may vary depending on many factors not all patients “feel” or achieve the same results.