Melatonin has grown in popularity in recent years as a natural sleep aid. According to a report by Grand View Research, the global melatonin market size was valued at $720.5 million in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.8% from 2021 to 2028.
The growing popularity of melatonin may be due to several factors, including the increasing prevalence of sleep disorders, the rise of natural and alternative medicine, and the ease of access to melatonin supplements.
With sleep disorders rising around the world with every passing day, people are more interested in sleep aids than ever. Sleep aids come in various forms. They come as liquids and as pills, and sometimes even as a supplement in the form of powder. To make sleep aids easily accessible, most of them are available over-the-counter and don’t even require a prescription. Sleep aids used to be an easy way for people to commit suicide, but modern sleeping pills no longer have the potential to kill. If you overdose on sleeping pills, you’re only going to sleep for a long time and in the worst case scenario get very sick.
Modern sleep aids also incorporate natural ingredients to help people sleep without resorting to chemicals always. Although sleep aids are not a cure for sleep disorders and should not be consumed on a regular basis, they are popular everywhere because they are a fast and easy means of falling and staying asleep. To make sleeping pills safer, there are now the kinds that are made of melatonin, the sleep hormone. Because melatonin is a natural part of our body, consuming melatonin sleep aids are believed to have fewer side effects than regular sleep aids.
But melatonin can also make it hard for you to wake up on time every morning if you don’t know when to time its consumption. In this post, we discuss melatonin production, melatonin sleep aids, and the right time to take it.
What Is Melatonin?
Like all bodily functions, sleep is also controlled by hormones. The hormone for alertness is serotonin, and the hormone for sleep is melatonin. While sunshine and bright lights aid in the production of serotonin, darkness aids in the production of melatonin. Melatonin is normally produced only after sundown.
But hormonal imbalances are common in every individual, and if your melatonin production is not normal, you are going to have sleep issues. Being exposed to bright lights also hinders melatonin production and makes it hard for sleep to come at night. Blue light is one of the worst enemies of melatonin production. If you are exposed to electronic devices most of the time, you are more at risk for suffering from sleep disorders. This is because the blue light emitted from backlit electronic devices significantly hinders melatonin production.
For a healthy sleep-wake cycle, the serotonin and melatonin productions should be in balance. Lack of melatonin causes sleep disorders like insomnia whereas a lack of serotonin causes depression and low energy. Melatonin is produced by the part of the brain called the hypothalamus.
Melatonin Sleep Aid
Sleep aids are known to have various side effects. This led to the development of sleep aids made with melatonin, a hormone that’s naturally present in our bodies. However, melatonin sleep aids aren’t a solution to low melatonin production. They only help you fall asleep by increasing the amount of melatonin in your brain. If you don’t take it, your melatonin levels will go back to their previous state.
Melatonin sleep aids usually come in the form of a pill and should be taken before bedtime. Melatonin supplements are available over-the-counter and don’t require prescriptions. Melatonin supplements are either pure or compounded and added to other products. Pure melatonin supplements are always available as pills or capsules, but when they are mixed to other products, they are also available as liquids or sprays.
Because melatonin supplements are very potent and fast-acting, they should be taken only before bedtime.
Melatonin Supplement Dosage
Generally, melatonin supplements are available as over-the-counter drugs in most pharmacies. But they don’t require a prescription, are not regulated by the FDA, and have no fixed dosage. The appropriate dosage is usually mentioned on the pack but can also be misleading in many cases.
Before taking a melatonin supplement, it is important to consult a healthcare practitioner for the right dosage. Melatonin is more potent and faster acting than most other sleep aids and should be used judiciously to avoid side effects. Unlike other sleep aids, even the lowest dose of melatonin has been found effective in treating sleep issues. You don’t always have to take the highest dose for the maximum effect. To be on the safe side, it’s best to start with the lowest dosage.
There have so far been no adverse effects reported from melatonin supplements. However, the timing is everything in taking melatonin supplements. More important than the dose is the time when you are taking the supplement.
How Long Does Melatonin Last?
A lot of people new to melatonin supplements experience excessive sleepiness during the day after taking sleep aid at night. This is because of wrong timing.
The effects of melatonin last according to the dosage. A dosage of 0.5 mg will last only an hour while a 10 mg dosage will last more than seven hours. It all depends on how severe your condition. If you have infrequent episodes of sleeplessness, then a dosage of one or two milligrams should help you fall asleep. If you’re a chronic insomniac or suffer from the delayed onset of sleep, you need a dosage of 10mg or higher.
The effects of melatonin are also quick to go away. Taking higher doses isn’t the solution here. You simply have to time it right. If you simply want to get better sleep and don’t suffer from a sleep disorder, you should take the supplement no sooner than 30 minutes before going to bed. If you suffer from delayed sleep onset, you should take it at least an hour before going to bed.
If you have been diagnosed with a sleep disorder and also take other sleep aids, you should not start taking a melatonin supplement without consulting a doctor. Melatonin supplements are usually known to be safe and can also be given to children. However, dependence on any sleep aid isn’t recommended.
Although melatonin supplements are considered safer than most other sleep aids, they should be taken only if recommended by a doctor. Consuming the wrong supplements or medications can make your condition grow worse.
If you are looking for a sleep supplement that will keep you asleep, try Sleep Relief. It is biphasic which means different ingredients will kick in at different times so that you stay asleep all night and wake up well-rested. One drawback of this supplement is that the pills are a bit large so may be a turn off if you don’t like swallowing pills. Another option is Olly Sleep Gummies which are chewable and taste great. While they aren’t quite as strong as Sleep Relief, they have other natural ingredients that keep you asleep more than melatonin alone.
Melatonin Dosage Chart:
- Children aged 0-5 years old: Consult with a doctor before giving melatonin to children in this age range.
- Children aged 6-12 years old: 1-3 mg of melatonin per day.
- Adults aged 13 years and above: 3-10 mg of melatonin per day.
It’s important to note that the ideal dosage of melatonin can vary depending on a person’s individual needs, so it’s best to consult with a doctor before taking melatonin or any other supplements. Additionally, melatonin should only be taken for a short-term period to help with sleep issues, and not as a long-term solution.
Can You Overdose on Melatonin?
Yes, it is possible to overdose on melatonin. Taking too much melatonin can lead to several side effects, including:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Hormonal fluctuations
In rare cases, extremely high doses of melatonin can lead to more serious symptoms, such as seizures or a decreased ability to regulate body temperature.
It’s important to follow the recommended dosage guidelines and to not exceed the recommended dose without consulting a doctor first. If you experience any negative side effects after taking melatonin, it’s important to stop taking it and seek medical attention if necessary.
Is it OK To Take Every Night?
Melatonin is generally safe for short-term use, but it’s not recommended to take it every night on a long-term basis. This is because your body may become dependent on melatonin to fall asleep, which can make it difficult to sleep without it. Additionally, taking melatonin every night can cause your body to stop producing its own melatonin naturally, which can further disrupt your sleep cycle.
It’s best to use melatonin for short-term periods to help with sleep issues, such as jet lag or occasional insomnia. If you’re experiencing ongoing sleep issues, it’s important to address the underlying causes with the help of a healthcare professional, rather than relying on melatonin as a long-term solution.
Can I Take Melatonin After Drinking?
It is not recommended to take melatonin if you have been drinking alcohol. Alcohol can interfere with the way melatonin is metabolized in the body, which can affect its effectiveness and potentially cause negative side effects.
Additionally, combining melatonin with alcohol can increase the sedative effects of both substances, which can lead to excessive drowsiness, dizziness, and impaired coordination. This can be dangerous, especially if you’re planning to drive or operate heavy machinery.
If you have been drinking and are experiencing sleep issues, it’s best to avoid taking melatonin and instead, try other methods to promote sleep, such as relaxation techniques or a warm bath before bed. It’s important to give your body time to metabolize the alcohol before taking any supplements or medications.
Is Melatonin Addictive?
Melatonin is not considered addictive, as it doesn’t cause physical dependence or withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it. However, as mentioned earlier, your body can become dependent on melatonin to fall asleep if you take it every night for a long period of time. This can make it difficult to sleep without melatonin, but it’s not the same as addiction.
It’s important to use melatonin as directed and only for short-term periods to avoid developing a dependence on it.
Most Popular Brands of Melatonin
There are many different brands of melatonin available on the market, but some of the most popular ones include:
- Natrol Melatonin
- Nature Made Melatonin
- NOW Melatonin
- Source Naturals Melatonin
- Sundown Naturals Melatonin
- Life Extension Melatonin
- Solgar Melatonin
- Garden of Life Melatonin
- Puritan’s Pride Melatonin
- GNC Melatonin
It’s important to note that the quality and effectiveness of melatonin can vary depending on the brand and formulation, so it’s important to choose a reputable brand and to follow the recommended dosage guidelines.
If you’re looking for alternatives to melatonin for sleep support, there are several options to consider. Here are some common alternatives:
Valerian root: Valerian root is a natural herb that can help promote relaxation and improve sleep quality.
Chamomile: Chamomile tea is a popular natural remedy for sleep issues, as it has calming and soothing properties that can help you relax.
Lavender: Lavender essential oil is known for its calming effects and can be used in aromatherapy or as a natural sleep aid.
Magnesium: Magnesium is a mineral that can help relax the body and mind, making it easier to fall asleep.
L-theanine: L-theanine is an amino acid that can help reduce stress and promote relaxation, making it easier to fall asleep.
5-HTP: 5-HTP is a natural supplement that can help increase serotonin levels in the brain, which can improve mood and promote better sleep.
Why Do I Wake Up A Few Hours After Taking Melatonin?
There could be several reasons why you’re waking up a few hours after taking melatonin. Here are a few possibilities:
Timing: Melatonin is most effective when taken about 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. If you take melatonin too early or too late, it may wear off before you’re ready to wake up, leading to disrupted sleep.
Dosage: Taking too much or too little melatonin can also disrupt your sleep. If you’re taking too little, it may not be enough to help you stay asleep, while taking too much can cause drowsiness the next day or interfere with your sleep cycle.
Individual differences: Everyone’s body chemistry is different, so melatonin may work differently for different people. Some people may find that melatonin helps them fall asleep but doesn’t keep them asleep, while others may find that it has no effect on their sleep.
Underlying issues: If you’re experiencing ongoing sleep issues, there may be underlying issues that need to be addressed. This could include stress, anxiety, or other medical conditions that are affecting your sleep.
How Do You Take Melatonin?
Melatonin is available in various forms, including pills, liquids, gummies, and even sprays. Whether a pill or liquid form is better for you may depend on personal preference and convenience.
Pills are a convenient and easy way to take melatonin, as they’re portable and don’t require any measuring or mixing. They’re also available in different strengths and formulations, making it easier to find the right dose for your needs.
Liquid melatonin, on the other hand, can be absorbed more quickly by the body, making it a good option for people who have difficulty swallowing pills or need faster-acting relief. It can also be easier to adjust the dosage of liquid melatonin as needed.
Ultimately, the choice between pill or liquid melatonin may come down to personal preference and convenience. It’s important to choose a reputable brand and to follow the recommended dosage guidelines for whichever form you choose. If you have any questions or concerns about taking melatonin, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional.
Can Melatonin Help Prevent Covid?
There has been some research suggesting that melatonin may have potential in the treatment and prevention of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that has resulted in a global pandemic.
One study published in the journal Life Sciences found that melatonin may be effective in reducing the severity of COVID-19 symptoms and preventing complications, particularly in elderly patients who are at higher risk of developing severe illness. The study suggests that melatonin may have immunomodulatory effects that can regulate the immune response to the virus and reduce inflammation.
Another study published in the journal Antioxidants found that melatonin can help protect against the oxidative stress and inflammation caused by COVID-19, which may contribute to the development of severe illness.
However, it’s important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits of melatonin in the treatment and prevention of COVID-19.
Is it Illegal in Certain Countries?
The legal status of melatonin can vary depending on the country. In some countries, melatonin is available over-the-counter and is considered a dietary supplement, while in others it may be available only with a prescription or may be restricted or prohibited altogether.
For example, in the United States, melatonin is available over-the-counter and is considered a dietary supplement, which means it’s not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the same way that prescription drugs are. However, in other countries like Canada, melatonin is only available with a prescription.
In some countries, like Australia and New Zealand, melatonin is classified as a prescription medicine and is only available with a doctor’s prescription.
It’s important to check the legal status of melatonin in your country before purchasing or using it, and to follow any applicable regulations or guidelines.
How Soon To Take Before Going to Bed?
Melatonin is typically taken about 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime. This allows enough time for the melatonin to be absorbed by the body and start working to promote sleep.
It’s important to follow the recommended dosage guidelines for melatonin and to take it at the same time each night to help regulate your sleep cycle. Taking melatonin earlier or later than the recommended time may not be as effective, and could potentially disrupt your sleep cycle.
Is it Safe to Buy on Amazon?
It is generally safe to buy melatonin from reputable online retailers like Amazon. However, it’s important to be cautious when purchasing any supplements online, as the quality and authenticity of the product can vary depending on the seller.
When purchasing melatonin or any other supplements from Amazon, it’s important to choose a reputable seller with positive reviews and to check the expiration date and ingredients list before making a purchase. It’s also a good idea to research the brand and manufacturer to ensure that they have a good reputation and follow safe manufacturing practices.
Additionally, it’s important to follow the recommended dosage guidelines and to not exceed the recommended dose without consulting a healthcare professional first.
Our Recommended Melatonin Brand:
Nature Made is a reputable brand of melatonin that is well-known for producing high-quality supplements. They offer a variety of melatonin products in different strengths and formulations, including tablets, gummies, and liquid softgels.
Nature Made is a trusted brand in the supplement industry and has a reputation for following strict manufacturing standards and using high-quality ingredients. They also undergo third-party testing to ensure the purity and potency of their products.
However, it’s important to note that individual experiences with melatonin can vary, and what works well for one person may not work as well for another.
Recent Research on Melatonin
Here are a few recent studies and current research on melatonin:
Melatonin and COVID-19: A study published in the journal Life Sciences found that melatonin may have potential in the treatment and prevention of COVID-19 due to its ability to regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation.
Melatonin and sleep quality: A systematic review and meta-analysis published in the journal Sleep Medicine Reviews found that melatonin can significantly improve sleep quality in people with insomnia, particularly in older adults.
Melatonin and cancer: A study published in the journal BMC Cancer found that melatonin may have potential as an adjunct therapy for breast cancer, as it can enhance the effectiveness of chemotherapy and reduce the side effects.
Melatonin and heart health: A review published in the journal Current Pharmaceutical Design found that melatonin may have potential in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, as it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can protect against oxidative stress and inflammation.
Melatonin and fertility: A study published in the journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology found that melatonin can improve sperm quality and may have potential as a treatment for male infertility.
It’s important to note that while these studies suggest potential benefits of melatonin, more research is needed to fully understand its effects on different health conditions.