What is Melatonin and Should You Be Taking It?

When it comes to getting enough sleep, we can all feel behind. Whether you were up all night working or scrolling through social media, sleep is something we could all use more of. But what causes our sleep cycles? Melatonin is a hormone in the brain that controls your sleep-wake cycles. Your body’s internal clock determines how much and when melatonin is made.

 

Melatonin is a hormone in the pineal gland in the brain that controls your sleep-wake cycles. Your body’s internal clock determines how much melatonin is made. Light also affects your body’s internal clock, as it gets later and darker in the day, more melatonin is released.

Melatonin supplements are a popular, inexpensive way to increase the melatonin levels in your pineal gland. The supplements come in pill, liquid, lozenge and chewable forms and range from one to 10 milligrams. Be aware when purchasing melatonin, you might not be getting what you’re promised. Read labels and research before buying.

Although you can’t overdose on melatonin, some doctors worry for those who become reliant on it. You can eventually become de-sensitized to it, needing more and more every night. When coming off the supplement, you might experience difficulty sleeping. But if your body does respond well to melatonin, you may never see negative side effects.

Before heading to the store, check with your doctor for correct dosages. You might find you actually need something else to aid you in sleeping. It is recommended to turn off laptops, cell phones and tablets two hours before going to bed because of the blue light emitted from the screens.

 

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