Melatonin is the hormone your body naturally produces to help regulate your sleep cycle. When it gets dark outside, that signals your brain to produce melatonin. Your brain recognizes it’s time for sleep, the pineal gland produces melatonin, and then you begin to feel tired and fall asleep soon thereafter.
At least that’s how it usually works, but if you experience a disruption in melatonin production (otherwise known as a melatonin deficiency), you could end up with some insomnia.
What Causes Melatonin Deficiency?
Melatonin deficiency is caused by many things, and none of them are things you would expect to seriously impact your hormones, but unfortunately, they do. The most common causes are high levels of stress, lack of sleep, too much caffeine, and imbalanced blood sugar. In other words, something as simple as having an extra cup of coffee or missing a meal can significantly impact your body’s ability to produce melatonin.
This is why so many people have trouble sleeping at night. The causes for sleep problems are so ridiculously common. Who doesn’t miss a meal once in a while? Who doesn’t occasionally need an extra cup of coffee? Every person in the world has gone through a very stressful period at some point, right? Any of these things can be the cause of a short or even long-term melatonin deficiency, which can cause mild to severe insomnia.
The Benefits of Melatonin Supplements
The most significant benefit of using a melatonin supplement is obvious. At the end of the day, when your brain is having trouble producing enough melatonin, you can simply take a small dosage of melatonin, and it will get the job done for you. Melatonin as a supplement is a completely safe and natural sleep aid that can really be a tremendous help.
Melatonin supplements can serve as a temporary solution to your sleep problem, but taking melatonin by itself isn’t going to fix your issue in the long term. Supplementing with melatonin helps get your levels back on track in the short term, but if you are looking for a long-term solution for curing your insomnia, you need a more comprehensive sleep supplement.
Comprehensive sleep supplements usually contain small dosages of melatonin to help you fall asleep in the short term, which is great, but they also contain proven natural herbs and other nutrients that have been clinically proven to help correct sleep troubles in the long term. If you’re serious about fixing your sleep issue in both the short term and the long term, check out our Top 10 Best Sleep Supplements to learn about some of our favorite options.
Optimal Melatonin Dosage For Sleep
Many people get confused about how much melatonin to take, and that’s because most people choose to supplement with melatonin by itself, which is a mistake. If you buy a melatonin supplement, you will usually find that it contains about 3 milligrams of melatonin per serving. This is a fine dosage, but after a while, you may start to build up a bit of a tolerance. This is the reason why comprehensive sleep supplements are much better than taking pure melatonin.
Comprehensive sleep supplements will contain the standard melatonin dosage of about 3 milligrams per serving, but they usually have about 6-8 other ingredients at play. Since there is a lot more to these supplements than just melatonin, it becomes nearly impossible to build a tolerance, and the combination of ingredients can serve as a long-term solution because it really helps correct your sleep cycle for good over time.
Melatonin Side Effects
Melatonin side effects are typically very minimal if they even occur at all. The best way to avoid experiencing any melatonin side effects is simply by only taking it when you are already in bed and ready to fall asleep because almost all of the side effects result from taking melatonin and then trying to stay awake after.
If you take melatonin before you are ready to fall asleep, some of the side effects you may experience are dizziness, blurred vision, irritability, and upset stomach. As you can see, none of the melatonin side effects are very serious at all, but it’s important to know that you shouldn’t take melatonin until you’re already in bed.
The most important thing to know when it comes to the side effects is the fact that if you are supplementing with melatonin by itself, you may experience a tolerance build up over time, which is why we recommend checking out some more comprehensive sleep supplements instead of taking pure melatonin.
Conclusion: Should You Use Melatonin For Sleep?
At the end of the day, melatonin is definitely one of the best things you can take to help relieve your insomnia. The benefits of using melatonin at night are great, and there are little-to-no side effects. With that said, using melatonin on its own may not be the best idea because your body can build up a tolerance.
I’m not just a supplement analyst. I’m an extremely qualified one! I am a Certified Nutrition Coach (CNC) and actually received my certification directly from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. I am also a Nutrition & Wellness Consultant, certified by the American Fitness Professionals Association (AFPA).