Melatonin: What You Need To Know

Updated

July 19, 2021

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Have you ever heard of melatonin? If you haven't heard of it before, you might be interested in learning more about it, this article will cover what you need to know. 

Not only that, but we will also cover some of the most important aspects, like;

  • When should you take melatonin?
  • What is the effect of melatonin on sleep?
  • How long does melatonin make you sleep?
  • What is the effectiveness of melatonin for sleep?

Melatonin may be necessary at some point in your life for various reasons. In a nutshell, melatonin enhances your sleep, especially when you suffer from sleep disorders. Furthermore, it may also prove beneficial for migraines, high blood pressure, and anxiety. 

What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is naturally produced by the human body. Interestingly, you can also use it as a medicine, usually in the form of a pill. Sleep patterns are primarily controlled by it. Whether you suffer from jet lag or insomnia, melatonin can help you fall asleep sooner. 

Despite the lack of scientific evidence, melatonin is believed to boost the immune system and prevent cancer and aging.

If you are from Australia looking for melatonin, you will have to show a doctor’s note. However, from June 2021, people who are 55 years and above will be able to buy melatonin without any prescription. 


When To Take Melatonin

The main purpose of melatonin is to help you fall asleep easily. As a result, it is best to take melatonin 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. Nonetheless, you should also note that this pill works differently for everyone. If you are taking your first melatonin, take it 30 minutes before you go to bed. In this manner, you can determine the right time based on how long it actually takes you to fall asleep. 

How Much Melatonin To Take For Sleep

The question of how much melatonin should I take for sleep is not uncommon. In fact, it is true that every dosage will vary from one person to the other. These variances will arise from factors like the overall health, metabolism, and weight of the body. 


Usually, doctors recommend that a person must take a dosage of melatonin that falls between 1 mg and 5 mg. Unless otherwise advised, you need to refrain from taking a dosage of more than 5 mg.

How Long Does Melatonin Make You Sleep

Melatonin proves to be effective according to the dosage you take. This means the higher the dosage, the more effective it will be. Thus, you will have more sleep. In terms of half-life, which is the time taken to metabolize half the dose, melatonin takes about one to two hours

Moreover, your body is able to withstand around four to five half-lives when it comes to eliminating the drug. This means that you are looking at a minimum of four hours and a maximum of five hours of sleep when you take melatonin.  


How Melatonin Affects Sleep

According to research by the Sleep Health Foundation of Australia, as many as 60% of people reportedly have sleep problems at least three times a week. So, it’s no wonder that people resort to pills or chewables like melatonin in order to maintain a better sleep pattern. 

The fact that you face problems sleeping at night could be due to your body’s failure to produce enough melatonin. So, by taking the melatonin pill, you will be able to experience an improvement in your sleep schedule. 

Moreover, the way melatonin affects your sleep is its ability to work with your circadian rhythm. This rhythm helps in controlling your sleep and waking up schedules. 

But what about the people who work night shifts?

If you are one of them, you don’t have to worry about it. Since the hormone melatonin levels are higher during the night than at day, you may find it difficult to get sleep during the daytime. But with the help of the pill, your body will be able to counteract this effect and allow you to get the sleep you deserve. 

How Effective is Melatonin for Sleep

Now that you know precisely what melatonin is, you may be wondering how effective it is. You will be glad to know that there have been many studies and researches that prove that melatonin is effective and safe, too. However, it may not be as effective for people who suffer from long-term sleep issues. 

This means that when there is a disruption in the circadian rhythm, you can take the pill for an improvement in sleep. This rhythm could be disrupted due to working late at night, delayed sleep, or jet lag. 

As long as you take the dosage your doctor prescribes, you may be well on your way to feeling relaxed and getting proper sleep. In addition, experts suggest taking melatonin as directed by your doctor rather than a pharmacist. Since melatonin is now available over the counter in Australia for people over 55 years, the chances are that they will purchase it without recommendations. As a result, it may lead to other health and mental problems that could endanger lives. 

Conclusion

If you are suffering from jet lag or insomnia, melatonin may be able to help you. To function properly, the body needs enough sleep. You should consult your physician regarding the appropriate dosage. This way, you know if taking this drug is correct for you.