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Melatonin For Sleep: Benefits And Side Effects

Melatonin For Sleep: Benefits And Side Effects

What does it mean to take melatonin for sleep? Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that spikes when we’re in the dark, priming our bodies for deep, restful sleep.

When you’re struggling to get your sleep schedule in check, a melatonin supplement can accelerate this biological process, and help you catch up on the snooze time you deserve.

Sleep is a vital biological process that has far-reaching impacts on our well-being. A good night’s rest can help you regulate energy, mood, and improve your heart health. While taking melatonin for sleep can be helpful, it’s also important to understand how and why it helps. Here is an overview of how exactly melatonin works, why you should use it with caution, and the ways you can achieve better sleep naturally.

What Is Melatonin?

Your brain produces melatonin to help regulate your circadian rhythm or internal body clock. Your body receives signals depending on how much light it is exposed to. During the day, when exposed to bright daylight, your brain knows to stop producing melatonin.

In the evenings, on the other hand, it activates production to drop your body temperature and blood pressure, priming you for proper sleep in the process.

What Are Some Benefits Of Taking Melatonin?

What are some benefits of taking melatonin? | Puffy

In Canada, you can purchase melatonin as an over-the-counter supplement, and it is also present as an ingredient in a few multi-vitamins. Here are a couple of benefits you might experience while on melatonin:

  • Taking melatonin for sleep can result in deeper, more satisfying rest. If you spend a lot of time tossing and turning in bed, are experiencing severe jet lag, or have issues regulating your sleep cycle, taking melatonin can help you achieve better sleep.
  • Some people with chronic disabilities also find taking melatonin for sleep helpful. This includes people who are visually impaired, elderly dementia patients, children with autism, as well as people on certain kinds of medications.
  • Melatonin is useful for more than just sleep. In one study published in 2004, researchers found a regular dose of melatonin could minimize the occurrence of migraines. Studies have since shown inconclusive evidence, though some people still find melatonin helpful when dealing with these severe headaches.
  • In another study at the National University of Singapore, researchers have found that melatonin might be useful in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS. Evidence has also supported the use of melatonin for stomach ulcers and heartburn.
  • One of the most surprising applications of melatonin is in relation to your eye health. According to some studies, melatonin actually has potent antioxidant benefits, which can help in reducing the risk of certain eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration.

What Are The Disadvantages Of Taking Melatonin?

Though using melatonin for sleep can be helpful, it’s important to be wary of some of the more common side effects that this supplement might have. Most side effects experienced by people who use melatonin for sleep are not severe, but it’s worth observing how your body responds to any drug.

Some of the more common side effects of melatonin include dizziness, nausea and headaches. More severe side effects that are less commonly reported include mild anxiety, tremors, low blood pressure, and increased nightmares.

Taking the right dosage of melatonin should prevent any occurrence of side effects that you experience. It is also unsafe to take melatonin if you’re pregnant, struggle with depression, have any type of seizure-related disorder, or are taking contraceptives or any other immunosuppressants. It is also advised against patients taking medicine for hypertension and diabetes.

How To Improve Your Sleep Naturally

How to improve your sleep naturally | Puffy

Supplements are a useful way to boost your sleep routine, but it’s also important to ensure you’re doing everything you can to get better sleep naturally. Maintaining high standards of sleep hygiene can help you keep your sleep cycle consistent, and ensures that you’re able to focus on resting in a way that boosts your well-being.

Here are a few sleep tips that can help you achieve better sleep without needing to rely too much on external supplements:

Keep a set bedtime and wake up at the same time every morning

Melatonin controls your circadian rhythm, which means that it helps regulate the time you wake up and go to bed. If you’re unable to stay consistent with your bedtime, your body can get confused, and become inconsistent with producing the right amount of melatonin for sleep.

Try setting a time of day to go to bed and wake up (even on the weekends!) so that your sleep cycle is as healthy as possible.

Use essential oils to set the right mood

Essential oils are often used for their calming and soothing properties. Scents such as lavender, chamomile, lemon, and vanilla can all be used for a good night of soothing sleep.

Make sure you’re able to control the ambiance in your bedroom, as this can go a long way in regulating your sleep.

Choosing the best mattress for a good night’s sleep

The right mattress for your sleep is going to ensure you’re getting a calm and comfortable night.

To make sure you’re getting a proper night of sleep, it’s important you’re able to keep things cozy. Choose the best mattress for your sleep position to improve your sleep naturally. The best mattresses often manage to balance cozy comfort with proper, body-contouring support.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does melatonin last?

Melatonin doesn’t actually stay in the body for very long. Most people eliminate all melatonin from their system within five hours of taking it, which means you should feel minimal effects if you take it before you go to sleep at night.

Does melatonin make you tired?

Some people experience a “hangover” the morning after taking melatonin, but this usually occurs because they’ve taken it too late into the night. To avoid feeling any fatigue after using melatonin for sleep, just be sure to take it in time for you to get six to eight hours of sleep.

When should you take melatonin?

Most experts advise you to take melatonin around thirty to sixty minutes before your bedtime. Since it is a fast-acting drug, melatonin takes as little as thirty minutes to kick in before you begin to feel the effects.

Conclusion

When taking melatonin for sleep, it’s important to plan ahead. If you’re struggling with keeping your sleep cycle consistent, melatonin can be a very useful way to get back on track with the rest you require. From getting better sleep to helping you with a migraine, there are plenty of applications for this supplement.

Make sure to consult your physician if you’re experiencing serious struggles with sleep. Not only will they be able to recommend the correct dose for your needs, they’ll also help you figure out what’s causing your problem, allowing you to fix the root issue.



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Disclaimer. We love sleep and we want you to get the best sleep possible. But we do not provide medical advice. This blog is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical info, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our blog.

Certified Sleep Science Coach

Written by Teresa Francis, Certified Sleep Science Coach

Teresa Francis is a Certified Sleep Science Coach and full-time writer focused on well-being and sleep health. She’s written on a variety of topics, from what’s trending in bedroom decor to the way lifestyle influences sleep. Some of the subject areas she covers for Puffy include the best foods for better sleep, how new parents can catch up on rest, and the best way to become a morning person. Teresa has a Master’s Degree in Literature, and has always believed in the power of a good bedtime story.


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