Should You Be Taking Melatonin To Sleep At Night?

Even though melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone, it does come with some side effects.

Written by Kashish Sharma | Published : May 9, 2023 11:54 PM IST

Important Role In Regulation Of Sleep

Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland and plays an important role in sleep regulation. Its levels increase as night approaches. It plays an important role in the regulation of the circadian cycle or the body’s internal clock. There are many reasons why melatonin production can be affected, causing sleep irregularities.

Factors Affecting Melatonin Production

Among the reasons why melatonin production can be affected is when there is a mismatch between the body’s internal clock and the time at which a person might be sleeping. It could be due to events like jet lag or occupational commitments. Melatonin production is also affected by the presence of bright lights, and blue light coming from smartphones and other electronic devices. Also Read - How Prenatal Vitamins Benefit Healthy Pregnancy?

It Comes With Side-effects

Even though melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone, it does come with some side effects. It has been known to cause symptoms like headaches, dizziness, and interactions with other medicines such as anticoagulants.

Not A Good Alternative To Sleep Medications

As per some quoted experts, melatonin is not a good alternative to sleep medications. While many people might be consuming it for insomnia but the symptom can be caused due to other disorders like restless leg syndrome, obstructive sleep apnoea, depression and many other conditions. The diagnosis of the actual condition is important and medication must be taken accordingly. Also Read - Anxiety Disorder And Excessive Smart Phone Usage: Can It Be A Trigger?

Pill Must Be The Last Stop

As per experts, people must first try to eliminate all other factors that might be obstructing maintaining healthy sleep hygiene such as avoiding the usage of electronics before bedtime. Moreover, it is a common misconception that melatonin is a sedative. It simply signals your body that it is nighttime and its effects are not sudden. Hence, it is a good idea to take the pill a few hours before you hit the bed.