If you’ve ever had trouble falling asleep at night, chances are you’ve heard of melatonin. A common question for those who have considered taking the supplement is, “How much melatonin should I actually be taking.” Melatonin dosage by weight is typical what you will see. Some other things to consider are age, the possible side effects, additional medications you may be taking, and any health problems you have or are currently experiencing.
Depending on these factors, melatonin can be a useful addition to your medicine cabinet. Read on for an overview of everything you need to know before taking melatonin.
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone in the human brain that produces a response to the dark. Therefore, it aids in falling asleep and timing your circadian rhythms, which act like a 24-hour internal clock. Because the ‘sleep hormone’ is produced when the brain registers a specific environment (darkness), exposure to light at night can cause insufficient melatonin to enter the body. As a result, you may have trouble resting and falling asleep.
This lack of melatonin production is why many people choose to take melatonin as a digestive supplement. Some people find that taking a melatonin pill before bedtime helps them fall asleep faster and easier. However, it is important to consider your daily habits and nighttime routine. Do your actions, diet and wellness habits support a good night’s sleep? These daily habits can include regular exercise, whole foods, limited screen time, and limited alcohol consumption.
If you’re confident that your daily routine supports a healthy sleep pattern, but you still can’t fall asleep at night, melatonin may be a good option for you. Let’s take a look at how melatonin works, what its benefits are, and how much to take.
How does melatonin work?
Now that you know what melatonin is, let’s discuss how the dietary supplement really works. Melatonin acts on receptors in your body to help you fall asleep, likely resulting in a better night’s sleep. Consuming melatonin tablets adds to your body’s pre-existing natural supply of the hormone. Therefore, taking melatonin pills can help you go to bed and improve your overall quality of sleep.
What Are the Benefits of Melatonin?
The main benefit of melatonin is to support someone who has trouble falling asleep to fall asleep easily. Those who occasionally suffer from insomnia may benefit from the effects of taking melatonin. Melatonin supplements can help with a number of other situational conditions, such as jet lag, anxiety and depression, chronic pain, dementia, and more.
If you’re dealing with any of these conditions, it may be a good idea to occasionally add melatonin to your nighttime routine. Of course, it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor and make sure you’re only taking the right dosage for you. Which leads us to discuss how much melatonin you should be taking.
How Much Melatonin Should I Take?
Time for the main question. If you decide you want to try melatonin supplements, how much melatonin should you take? Again, there are several factors to consider when measuring your correct melatonin dosage: are you pregnant, breastfeeding, under the influence of alcohol, jet lagged, underage or elderly, or on other medications? Before taking melatonin, ask yourself these questions.
As far as general dosing guidelines go, there is no official recommended adult melatonin dosage, but between 0.5 and 5 milligrams appears to be safe and effective (according to the Sleep Foundation† It is best to start with the lowest recommended dose for your age and weight (check the label for this information) and note how it affects you before increasing your dose. You can slowly increase your melatonin dosage until you find an amount that will help you fall asleep without side effects.
So, what are the side effects of melatonin?
What are the side effects of melatonin?
As with any drug or dietary supplement, it is always important to consider the potential side effects. the unpleasant side effects of regular melatonin use may include:
- abdominal cramps
- Confusion or disorientation
- Low bloodpressure
Most of these side effects are rare, but it’s important to pay attention to how your body reacts when you take melatonin. If you experience these effects, stop taking melatonin and see your doctor.
Do you have trouble falling asleep at night and, given the above points, do you think melatonin can help you? If so, melatonin can be a helpful sleep aid (in addition to your healthy lifestyle) that may help you finally get some much-needed rest at night. Always read the label, consult a healthcare professional and take the recommended dosage for you.