Read This If You Take Melatonin To Sleep At Night

Melatonin is a very popular sleep aid. It’s naturally produced in your body. You don’t need a prescription for it and can buy it in gummy form or in a fruity drink. But is it as effective and safe as we think?

Natural melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland, helps humans fall asleep — and synthetic melatonin has been available as a sleep aid for nearly three decades. But the synthetic version’s effects have not been extensively studied, and since it’s classified as a “dietary supplement,” it is completely unregulated by the FDA.

As we mark World Sleep Day, which promotes the prevention and management of sleep disorders, it’s important to take a closer look at this common supplement.

“Any person in the sleep world will tell you the same thing: Melatonin is not harmless, is vastly overused and should not be used as a sleep aid by the majority of the population,” Michael Grandner, a sleep researcher at the University of Arizona, told The Huffington Post.

Melatonin is meant reset the body’s internal clock — for example, it’s appropriate to use the supplement to counter the effects of jet lag or help someone sleep if they have an unusual work schedule or suffer from a circadian rhythm disorder. It should not be used for general insomnia.

The proper dosage, according to a seminal 2001 study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is 0.3 milligrams. The research was conducted by Richard Wurtman, who pioneered the pharmaceutical use of melatonin as a sleep aid in 1994. Pills and supplements often sell 10 times that suggested amount in a single dose. This can lead to higher plasma melatonin levels the next day, which can cause a “hangover” effect that —> Read More