Do you take melatonin to sleep at night? Is Melatonin Safe to take?
Getting a good night’s sleep is a critical part of good health, and ensuring that you can get between 7-9 hours of quality sleep on a regular basis is a fundamental part of the Kaufmann Lifestyle. When you regularly get quality sleep, you are supporting your body’s functions in a way that has repeatedly been shown to affect your health in a positive way.
Many people, however, have a tough time getting to sleep and staying asleep––as many as 1/3 of Americans according to some reports. Subsequently, many turn to prescription and over the counter drugs to help them get a good night’s sleep. These, however, do come with some risks. Fortunately, there are a variety of natural sleep aides available that can safely assist most people getting to sleep.
Among the most popular of these is melatonin.
Melatonin is a hormone that our bodies naturally produce in response to darkness and helps regulate circadian rhythms; it is known to assist us in getting to sleep. However, as we age, melatonin production naturally declines, and other things like screen time, blue light and other factors might affect normal melatonin production.
Supplemental melatonin, however, is thought work similarly to the melatonin produced by our brain, and can be a great sleep aide for those who have a hard time getting to sleep.
Melatonin supplements are thought to also be beneficial for acid reflux, tinnitus and the prevention of macular degeneration.
Because it is a supplement, it is important to find a good source of melatonin. These supplements are readily available at many health food stores or even grocery stores, but it is important to purchase any supplement from companies that you trust so you know that what you are taking contains what it is supposed to contain.
The dosage of melatonin varies in supplements and can contain as much as 5-10 mg. For most people, this is likely far too much. Some practitioners recommend starting with as little as 0.5 mg and working your way up to 3 mg to find what dosage works for you. No more than 3 mg is likely sufficient for most people, and you should not take more than 5 mg per night; taken an hour to two before bed.
Melatonin is regarded as safe by the majority of practitioners, but like all supplements, you should always talk to you doctor before beginning any new supplement. It can interfere with certain medications, so it is important to talk to your doctor to get permission to start taking melatonin. It is important to stay within the recommended dosage, because too much melatonin can lead to mild side effects like headache, upset stomach, and impaired physical/mental performance.
For many though, melatonin can be a beneficial, natural sleep aide to use as-needed to get a good night’s sleep. Focusing on getting good, regular sleep is an important part of healthy lifestyle and should be a priority for everyone.
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