Are you one of the nearly half of all adults in the United States whose daily life has been impacted by poor or insufficient sleep in the past week?
Besides feeling drowsy, lack of sleep can negatively affect your cognitive ability. We’re talking difficulty remembering things, reacting to changes in the environment, concentrating, or processing new information. Lack of sleep can also impact your mood. Sleep-deprived people often experience irritability, anxiety, and mood swings.
These are some of the short-term health effects of sleep deprivation, but the long-term effects are even worse. Failing to get enough sleep can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, and obesity. It’s not pretty.
It’s important to make an effort to achieve 7-9 hours of quality sleep every night. But for many people, this isn’t as easy as it seems. If you’re struggling to fall - or stay - asleep, consider incorporating a melatonin-containing supplement into your routine.
How Melatonin Supplements Work
Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced in the body and closely linked to the regulation of your sleep-wake cycle. The levels of melatonin in your body rise and fall at various points throughout the day. Typically, the body produces melatonin at night to prepare your body for sleep, and then cuts off production in the morning to wake you up. If your body is not producing enough melatonin--or if it is releasing melatonin at the wrong times--a melatonin supplement can help ensure your levels are high enough to get a good night’s sleep.
The melatonin found in over-the-counter supplements works in the same manner as the melatonin produced naturally in your body. If you take a melatonin supplement, the melatonin will enter your bloodstream after moving through the digestive tract. Once in the bloodstream, melatonin will travel throughout the body.
What Studies Say About Melatonin
Sleep deprivation is a major problem in the U.S., which is why so many researchers have studied it over the years. Fortunately, this means an abundance of research has been conducted on the effectiveness of melatonin supplements.
Numerous studies have shown that melatonin supplements are effective in treating sleep difficulties caused by jet lag, shift work, and delayed sleep phase disorder. People who are struggling with these issues can use melatonin supplements to help them fall asleep faster. The hormone will essentially reset their body’s internal clock and get their sleep-wake cycles back on track.
Some studies have also found that taking melatonin supplements is an effective way to treat insomnia in adults. Melatonin is not a cure for insomnia, but it can make it easier for adults suffering from this sleep disorder to get a good night’s sleep.
A group of researchers at MIT also studied the effectiveness of melatonin supplements. Similar to previous studies, this team found that melatonin is effective in helping adults with sleeping disorders fall asleep faster. The researchers also concluded that only a small amount of melatonin is needed to effectively treat sleep disorders. In fact, the team found that taking too much melatonin can actually reduce its effectiveness. This is because if the melatonin receptors in your body are exposed to too much melatonin at once, they often become unresponsive.
In addition, the researchers at MIT discovered that melatonin can help adults quickly fall back asleep if they happen to wake up in the middle of the night. Since sleep disruptions can affect the quality of your sleep, this is an important discovery that could benefit millions of adults.
How to Take Melatonin Supplements
Based on these studies, it is clear that taking melatonin supplements can benefit people who are struggling to get a good night’s sleep. If you are thinking about taking melatonin supplements, it’s important to talk to your doctor first. Your doctor can review your medical history and the prescription medications you are currently taking to determine if melatonin supplements are right for you. Your doctor can also recommend an appropriate dosage of melatonin so you know exactly how much to take.
There are several different forms of melatonin supplements, including pills, chewable tablets, and liquids. Many people prefer taking liquid supplements such as Som Sleep because of their sweet taste and ease of administration. Regardless of which type you choose, it’s important to take it at the right time to ensure it enters your bloodstream when you are ready for bed. It is recommended that you drink a single serving of Som Sleep about thirty minutes before you plan on going to sleep. This gives the supplement enough time to move through the digestive tract and enter your bloodstream before you hit the hay. If you take it too early, you may start feeling drowsy before you are ready to call it a night.
There is plenty of research that shows that natural sleeping aids such as melatonin are effective. If you’re not getting enough sleep, don’t be afraid to take a melatonin supplement so you can finally get the rest you deserve.