More is not better when it comes to melatonin.
Look for melatonin 1 mg—it’s not always easy to find.
Can’t sleep? Take melatonin, people say.
Melatonin can help you if your days and nights are all mixed up. It’s valuable for shift workers who are trying to sleep at night after a string of night shifts. It’s also valuable for people who are switching time zones.
Melatonin isn’t a sleeping pill. It’s a hormone replacement. In its natural form, melatonin is a hormone produced by your body in the pineal gland. It’s unlikely you’re deficient. Chances are, it’s your circadian rhythm that’s thrown off between stressors in your life, nighttime smartphone use, and other influences. For your body, it’s like you’re living in a whole different time zone from the one you’re actually living in.
If you’re a shift worker, chances are that your body is releasing melatonin at the wrong time. It’s mixed up.
It’s commonly used. In the United States, 1.3 percent of adults said they took melatonin supplements within the last 30 days, according to one 2012 survey.
Melatonin tells your body that it’s time to go to bed. Its level is higher earlier in the night, lessening in toward morning.
Is 1 mg of melatonin effective?
Yes. Doses available in supplements in the United States are often three to 10 times what the body needs. This comes down to marketing. People are thinking in terms of “more is better.” When it comes to something like melatonin, more is not better. You want enough melatonin. That’s it. Enough. When you have too much melatonin, possible side effects include headaches, nausea, grogginess, and irritability. Nothing about those symptoms says “sleep.”
The correct dose of melatonin is 0.3 mg to 1.0 mg.
It’s to cut pills to get the correct dosage with melatonin gummies; harder but not impossible. Gummies don’t snap apart. You’d be better off cutting them with a knife.
Provided you’re not a time zone traveler or a shift worker, more effective ways of helping yourself get to sleep are ensuring you get outside during the day.
You also want to eat a healthy diet (and that includes eating a heavy meal within an hour or two of going to bed). In addition to helping you in other ways, those actions, these sleep skills, can be more important than any sleep aid you take.
Make sure you’re taking a quality melatonin supplement if you’re taking one. Look for the “USP Verified” mark, or make sure the manufacturer is on this list of companies who voluntarily submit product samples to the United States Pharmacopeia. This helps to ensure that what the manufacturer says is in the supplement is actually in the supplement. Supplements are unregulated by the FDA. Both of the brands on this page are USP verified.
How long does melatonin take to work?
Take 1 mg of melatonin 30 minutes to one hour before going to bed.
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