Everyone needs to sleep, but a major problem in America is 1 in every 3 people have problems falling or staying asleep. More than 2 out of every 3 Americans experience this issue at least once a week.
Work, school, and other activities do affect the ease in our ability to sleep. Sleeping soundly is a major desire and millions attempt various methods to achieve this.
When the pillows and soft music do not work so well, another idea people turn to is sleeping pills. Although most of us are aware they exist, there are plenty of people who have never given sleeping pills a try.
Many will wonder if they are effective. Keep reading to find out if taking supplements can help improve your sleeping habits.
What Are Sleep Aid Supplements?
Sleep aids help those who struggle with sleep or need help adjusting their sleep. You can use sleep aids to help treat a range of sleep problems such as jet lag, which often messes up a person’s circadian rhythm. Those who have insomnia, anxiety, or overwork are also at risk of having poor sleep habits.
While you can use sleep aids on your own and get them over-the-counter, it’s best to speak with a doctor first. You should also stop taking them should you experience any odd side effects or changes.
Adults primarily use sleep aids, but some adults will allow children to take them as well if they have a hard time going to bed. Again, it is best to include a doctor when doing this.
Doctors will be able to inform you of the proper dosage adults and kids should take and the best time to take it. They will also check to ensure any medications you are taking will not interfere with any sleep aid supplements you take.
What is Melatonin and Does It Work?
There are several sleeping supplements a person can take to help them correct their sleeping habits. Melatonin is by far the most common one. Melatonin is actually a hormone our bodies already produce in the brain.
It’s the body’s natural sleep hormone and the body releases it at high levels to help us fall asleep.
Melatonin works with the body’s circadian rhythm so that it knows when to eat, sleep, and wake. Melatonin is able to help the body relax by binding to receptors in the brain to reduce the activity of the nerves.
Melatonin sleep vitamins that work are able to counter low levels. While melatonin in itself isn’t enough to get the body to go to sleep, it does signal the body to ease into sleep. Taking melatonin supplements to replicate this phenomenon.
Ideal Time to Take Melatonin and Dosage
The effects of Melatonin kick in rather quickly. The most ideal time to take it would be within 30 minutes of bedtime.
Those who have a delayed sleep-wake disorder can take a smaller dose about five hours prior to going to sleep. This will allow the body to adjust its sleep schedule and bring it back to “normal.” Individuals who go on long solo trips or work odd schedules will benefit from this.
Although it’s best to work with a doctor to get the best dosage rate for you, you can take the “recommended” standard amount. A number of factors can affect the best rate, but it ranges from 0.5mg to 20mg.
If you are new to using melatonin, it’s best to start with the lowest dose first. You can slowly start increasing your dose if the amount you take does not seem to have any effect. Start with 0.5mg first and increase the amount by increments of 3-5mg.
Taking more melatonin will not help you “fall asleep faster.” The real goal you want to achieve is finding the lowest possible dose that gets you sleepy.
Are Melatonin Supplements Safe?
Melatonin is something that is not for everyone. It has a negative effect on the reproductive system, particularly in younger people.
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should refrain from using it unless they discuss it with a doctor. However, use is frowned upon, and most doctors will not recommend it.
Melatonin levels do change over the course of a pregnancy. Natural melatonin is important for babies growing in the womb.
It’s best to never exceed the recommended dosage. There are a few side effects to be aware of:
- Dizziness or drowsiness
These side effects are common, and for the most part, Melatonin is a safe product. More serious side effects are low blood pressure, tremors, cramps, and confusion, and disorientation. Those who experience side effects may want to reduce the dose they are taking.
How About for Kids?
Kids can have just as hard of a time falling asleep. This problem is more likely to occur in children who have ADHD or autism. Research is always looking at the safety level for underaged adults.
Minors who do receive melatonin on a short-term basis are able to sleep better and have an easier time getting to sleep. You also want to give kids melatonin at least an hour before bedtime.
The proper dosage for kids will depend on their age and how much they weigh. Doctors may suggest infants can take up to 1mg while older children can take up to 3mg. Teenagers may take up to 5mg to help them go to sleep.
Sleeping Soundly With Supplements Like Melatonin
There are some people who are fortunate enough to fall right asleep when they feel tired. However, not everyone is wired this way. Sometimes we need a little help when sleeping soundly doesn’t come.
Taking sleeping supplements can benefit people who need them. You can regulate your sleeping much better by taking it.
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