Melatonin is a hormone that is produced naturally by the pineal gland in the middle of our brains and helps to control our daily sleep-wake cycles. This hormone can also be produced synthetically in a laboratory.
Our bodies naturally produce the melatonin, so most of us assume that melatonin supplements are also natural.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers synthetic melatonin a food supplement, not a medication. Therefore, we can buy melatonin without a prescription in drugstores/chemists and natural food stores. These supplements comes in form of a pill, liquid, chewable, or as a lozenge.
If you take synthetic melatonin in one of the above form on a long-term basis, medical professionals tell us it is safe when used as directed.
Nevertheless, long-term use can cause side effects which manifest as daytime sleepiness, headaches, stomach cramps, short-term feelings of depression, irritability, and dizziness.
It is worthwhile noting that you are unlikely to become addicted to melatonin but with repeated usage you might experience a diminished responses or a hangover-like effect .
Synthetic melatonin also has an array of interactions with other drugs / medications used for various ailments, including:
As mentioned above, melatonin is primarily released by the pineal gland in the brain, but it can be produced by various other tissues in the body. Natural melatonin not only helps with our sleep-wake cycles but also with the circadian rhythm sleep disorders covered in our previous blog
Do you know how to increase your melatonin levels naturally for better sleep? Here are five useful ways:
Use a therapeutic device. Technology is developing rapidly every day. In the market today, there are a number of therapeutic devices that increase levels of natural melatonin in our bodies.
As much as we might think synthetic melatonin is safe, a better choice is when we can stimulate a production of our own, natural melatonin.
Producing our own natural melatonin in quantities that will help us either fall asleep easily, or help us with sleeping disorders such as the circadian rhythm sleep disorder (CRSD) is a better choice than relying on synthetic supplements with an unknown quantity of melatonin and possibly suffer some of the known side effects.
Enough sleep and regular physical exercise are essential for our health. Although everyone recognises this, it is not well known that the two activities influence each other.
In our latest blog we will explain how to get the most out of these two essential activities.