12 things that happen after taking melatonin.

 People are increasingly turning to melatonin as an over-the-counter treatment for sleep difficulties, but does it really work? Is it safe? Not long ago, an American magazine website conducted an inventory and analysis of this.

1. Melatonin helps improve sleep

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 70 million Americans have chronic sleep problems. Desperate for a sweet night's sleep, many people are trying to improve their sleep by taking the much-hyped melatonin. The National Health Interview Survey found that its use in the United States more than doubled between 2007 and 2012.

However, what exactly is melatonin? It's a hormone naturally produced by the body that lets us know it's time to sleep. Melatonin, which is naturally produced in the human body, does not induce sleep, but biochemical signals related to darkness tell the brain that night is coming. Melatonin is released by the body in the hours before bed and helps regulate the sleep/wake cycle.

2. Melatonin can regulate circadian rhythm

Although melatonin is the only readily available over-the-counter sleep aid on the market, scientific research shows that taking it is only helpful if a person’s natural melatonin production is not functioning properly— —This happens to people who work at night or are jet lagged.

While taking melatonin can make you drowsy, it's not a great hypnotic unless you're trying to sleep at the "wrong" time, such as a shift worker sleeping during the day, or trying to sleep after international travel. Those who sleep in the new time zone.

3. Melatonin doesn’t always work

The therapeutic effects of melatonin are mixed. Although some people with insomnia report that taking melatonin helps them, melatonin may be helpful in the treatment of long-term insomnia or sleep disorders. If you are a night owl with delayed sleep disorder, taking melatonin can really help you fall asleep at a normal time and not wake up lifeless.

4. Taking melatonin is not addictive

Even taking into account melatonin's overall effectiveness issues, it is favored by doctors rather than prescribed as a prescription drug to treat sleep problems. Taking melatonin is not addictive, does not cause any withdrawal symptoms, does not pose a fatal risk of overdose, and does not require increasing the dose over time. Although it has not undergone a formal safety review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, an analysis of existing studies suggests it has a favorable safety profile.

5. Melatonin can also cause side effects

Even so, those considering taking melatonin should be aware of some potential pitfalls. Melatonin is not without potential side effects, including headaches, depression, daytime sleepiness, dizziness, joint pain, stomach cramps, and irritability. Some people also report that their dreams become more vivid as a result of taking melatonin.

Although overdose of melatonin is not life-threatening, users still need to be vigilant: higher doses (20 to 30 mg) may be harmful to adults.

6. Melatonin may interact with other drugs

Melatonin is not suitable for everyone. It can interact with a variety of medications, including anticoagulants, antiplatelet drugs, anticonvulsants, birth control pills, medications for diabetes, and immunosuppressants. Also, do not use melatonin if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have an autoimmune disease, epilepsy, or depression.

Melatonin may also increase blood pressure levels in people taking certain high blood pressure medications. If you have a habit of drinking coffee or alcohol in the evening, experts recommend avoiding it. Also, you should not drive after taking melatonin.

7. Melatonin may affect children’s development

Sleep problems are common in children, but it is unwise for parents to give their children melatonin. Doctors also don’t recommend melatonin for children. While researchers haven't tested the hormone extensively in children, animal experiments suggest it may affect reproductive development in adolescents.

Although some studies suggest it helps children with neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, for most children the unknown risks outweigh the benefits. Parents who want to solve common sleep problems in children should first try other methods, such as helping their children develop a regular sleep routine.

8. The dosage required by each person is different.

To avoid side effects, start with the lowest dose. 0.2 to 5 mg is considered the starting dose range for melatonin supplementation. Since the FDA does not strictly regulate melatonin, different brands may have different effects. Therefore, patients with insomnia should start with the lowest dose, especially when taking it for the first time.

9. Taking it at the wrong time can disrupt sleep.

It is impossible to fall asleep peacefully by taking a pill of melatonin before going to bed, because melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep, not a sleeping pill. It should be taken at a time that matches the body's circadian rhythm. For most people, melatonin production peaks between 7 and 9 p.m., depending on the season. Therefore, taking it 30 to 90 minutes before bedtime may be effective for some people; others with different types of sleep disorders may benefit from taking it 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.

10. Different types of melatonin have similar effects on the body

At the drug store, you may be inundated with different brands and types of melatonin. It's available in tablets, capsules, gummies, chewable pills, and even sprays. In fact, regardless of the form, their pharmacological effects are exactly the same.

11. The long-term effects on the body are still unclear

According to the American Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, melatonin is safe to take in the short term (days to months), but the overall effect of long-term use is questionable. Also, if the patient is taking it and it doesn't work, stop taking it.

12. How to help melatonin take effect

While taking melatonin may help, there are other, less expensive ways to boost your body’s natural production of melatonin. You can increase melatonin production by getting some sun in the morning and afternoon. The blue light emitted by computers or mobile phones interferes with the brain's production of melatonin, so stop using computers and phones one hour before going to bed, and stay at least 1.8 meters away from the TV screen.

In fact, what needs to be adjusted may not be the level of melatonin itself, but the time of its release. In the hours before bed, people need to reduce their exposure to blue light to help the brain think it's night and induce sleep. In addition, eating melatonin-rich foods before bed (such as wolfberries, walnuts, almonds, pineapples, bananas, and oranges) can also help.