Irregular sleep-wake cycles and the inability to fall asleep often adversely affect your health. On top of this, our fast-paced life and the use of mobile phones and gadgets just before bedtime brings more difficulty in falling asleep. Luckily, your sleeping problems have a solution – Melatonin
Melatonin is a hormone in your body that regulates sleep. Its production and release in the brain are time-dependent, which increases in the dark and decreases in the light. Unfortunately, its production decreases as we age.
Today, Melatonin is available in supplemental forms such as tablets, liquids, patches, gummies, and sprays, and its effectiveness depends on the time of consumption or use. You will be surprised to know that the US FDA (Food and Drugs Administration) considers it a dietary supplement.
Now that you have understood the importance of melatonin for sleep let us look at a few of its medical uses.
Medical Usage of Melatonin
1. Delayed sleep phase syndrome
Delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS) is a condition wherein individuals usually fall asleep after a few hours post-midnight. As a result, they face difficulty waking up in the morning. Since the oral melatonin supplements reduce the time one requires to sleep, it may help young adults and children who suffer from DSPS fall asleep sooner and effortlessly.
Insomnia, a type of sleeping disorder, is misunderstood by most, especially the youth. In simple words, insomnia is the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep. As a result, these individuals always feel tired. Although the result of various studies on melatonin as a treatment for insomnia is indecisive, some studies suggest that it effectively reduces the time needed to fall asleep (by 7-12 minutes).
3. Sleep disorders in children
Medical professionals often recommend melatonin for children who suffer from sleep disorders (insomnia), autism spectrum disorder, or ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder). Several findings have indicated that supplementation can drastically increase overall sleep times for children with these disorders by 25 minutes to 48 minutes on average.
Note: Before suggesting these supplements, children are introduced to habits for improving their overall sleep quality.
4. Jet lag and night shifts
Individuals who work outside the traditional morning to evening work hours often find it difficult to catch some quality sleep during the day. One of the possible reasons can be decreased melatonin levels during the day. Similarly, people who travel across two or more time zones can find it hard to adjust to the time zones. In such cases, it positively impacts alertness, concentration, and daytime sleepiness, especially for jet-lagged individuals.
Is it safe to take melatonin?
Research and studies on melatonin are fairly restrictive and indecisive, particularly for prolonged use. However, a few studies suggest that its short-term usage is safe and effective. It is vital to note that one may experience minimal side effects like headache, dizziness, nausea, and sleepiness. Due to its drowsy effect, one must avoid driving or operating machines after consuming melatonin.
The appropriate dosages depend on your age, and one must start from the lowest dose possible. Furthermore, you should consult a doctor before taking the supplements if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, on medications for high blood pressure, and others, consume alcohol, have undergone a transplant recently, experience seizures, etc.
WOW Life Science provides 10 mg melatonin capsules to help you reset your body’s biological clock and get a good night’s sleep. These capsules are vegetarian and contain no artificial fillers, flavours, preservatives, gluten, or stearate.
Disclaimer: Melatonin is not a sleeping pill that anyone unable to fall asleep can pop in. It helps regulate & restore sleep cycles and should only be used in specific circumstances. If in doubt, consulting a doctor before including any supplement in your routine is essential and advisable.