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Melatonin: Its Benefits And Side Effects

What Is Melatonin?

You may be wondering, what is melatonin? You may even be concerned about the potential side effects of this natural hormone. The good news is that the majority of people are perfectly safe when they use melatonin in the recommended dosage. Here is a look at how to take melatonin, as well as how to prevent common side effects. The key is to take the supplement responsibly. If you do accidentally overdose, be aware of the symptoms.

Taking melatonin in high amounts while trying to get pregnant is potentially dangerous. While melatonin is not known to cause birth defects or harm babies, it may interfere with ovulation and make it difficult to get pregnant. In addition, there is not enough information to say if melatonin is safe to take during pregnancy while breastfeeding, or when taken in short-term amounts in children.

While there is no solid evidence to back up this claim, melatonin may help children with ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, and other sleep problems. However, it is important to discuss any melatonin supplements with your child’s doctor first. In addition, it’s important to set a regular bedtime routine and practice good sleep hygiene. For example, melatonin can help children with autism spectrum disorder sleep better, but it may also trigger increased urination, bedwetting, or agitation. As with any medication, you should check with your child’s paediatrician before giving melatonin supplements.

Benefits Of Melatonin Supplements

Helps Correct The Sleep-Wake Cycle

Melatonin supplements may help correct your sleep-wake cycle and aid your ability to fall asleep. However, be warned: melatonin is not for everyone. It is possible to become drowsy when taking melatonin supplements, so it is important to take them as directed. A typical dosage for an adult is between five and 10 milligrams, while for children it may be as low as two milligrams per night. It is best to consult your physician before taking melatonin supplements for any medical condition.

Not only melatonin supplements but the right firmness of your mattress can also balance your sleep-wake cycle and provide you a night of peaceful rest. Mattress firmness is of three types and depending on your need, you can choose the right one.

Can Help Those Suffering From Seasonal Affective Disorder

A melatonin supplement can help those suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). While it does not provide a quick fix for SAD, it can improve sleep quality. However, it is important to note that melatonin supplements do not have a magic pill effect, and you will have to follow a sleep schedule to see the benefits. In addition to improving your sleep, melatonin is also known to help fight signs of ageing.

Can Treat Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome

For people with primary sleep disorders, melatonin supplements may help treat delayed sleep phase syndrome, which is caused by a misaligned biological clock. This disorder affects the sleep-wake cycle and can lead to early morning wakings. In addition to helping you fall asleep more quickly, melatonin supplements can improve your body’s ability to wake up early in the morning and avoid the health risks that come with sleep deprivation.

Can Help Those Suffering From Alzheimer’s

Melatonin is also beneficial for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease since a study showed that 7 out of 10 Alzheimer’s patients had improved sleep. Furthermore, melatonin supplements in a timed-release form may help Parkinson’s patients sleep better and may slow down the progression of the disease. These studies are inconclusive, but the positive effects of melatonin supplements on the disease are still promising.

The Side Effects Of Melatonin Supplements

Can Cause Serotonin Syndrome

In one study of 31 melatonin supplements, researchers found that the content of melatonin varied significantly from the labelled amount. Serotonin was also detected in 26% of the supplements, and this could be problematic for some people. SSRIs increase serotonin levels in the brain, so combining melatonin supplements with serotonin boosters can cause serotonin syndrome. Serotonin syndrome can cause shivering, diarrhoea, fever, and seizures.

Sleepiness

Another problem associated with melatonin supplements is sleepiness. While this is not a side effect, it is a common complaint from those who are taking the supplements. The main cause for this symptom is impaired melatonin clearance rates. These impaired clearance rates prolong the time in which melatonin remains high in the blood. Infants and older adults are particularly susceptible to this problem.

Blood Clotting Or Excessive Bruising

Another potential side effect of melatonin is an increase in immune system activity. It may interfere with the effectiveness of immunosuppressants, which are drugs used to prevent the body from rejecting organs. Furthermore, melatonin can slow blood clotting and may lead to excessive bleeding or bruising. Additionally, melatonin may interfere with birth control drugs. This is why a physician should always be consulted before taking melatonin supplements.

Insomnia

The human body produces melatonin after sundown. It reaches a peak during the night. When people are sleep-deprived, melatonin supplements may be the answer to their problem. They are often used to help those with sleep problems, such as insomnia or shift workers.

Dosage For Melatonin Supplements

Dosing melatonin supplements is important to ensure safety. However, melatonin supplements may cause side effects in certain people. There are several factors to consider, including age, weight, and sensitivity to supplements. Children should not take melatonin supplements. However, certain neurodevelopmental conditions may require their use, so a physician’s supervision is necessary. The dosage is determined by a doctor after consultation.

The recommended dosage of melatonin supplements is usually between one milligram and five milligrams. As a general rule, adults should begin with a low dose and gradually increase the dosage until they achieve the desired effect. For those who experience jet lag, Bertisch suggests starting with a low dose of melatonin supplements. To get the lowest dose possible, split the pill in half. Higher dosages may help the body adjust to a lower dose.

To find out if melatonin supplements are right for you, consider starting with a low dose first. Then, you can gradually increase the dosage over time, depending on your tolerance. If your melatonin supplement is not working, consult your doctor, or speak with a sleep care specialist. You should not exceed the recommended dosage if you feel sleepy. It is important to consider this when deciding on a dosage.

Summary

Melatonin supplements have a low risk of becoming habit-forming, but they do pose risks. While it is generally considered less habit-forming than other sleep aids, pregnant women, those undergoing transplant procedures, and people with certain health conditions should consult with their doctor before using melatonin supplements. Furthermore, melatonin supplements may interact negatively with certain medications. Some people who take certain medications should avoid taking melatonin if they are on anti-epilepsy medication or blood-thinning drugs. People with dementia should also consult with their doctor before using melatonin supplements.

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