What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone that is made in a tiny little gland called the pineal gland that sits just above the middle of your brain. As the sun begins to set in the evening, you naturally produce more and more melatonin to let your body know that it’s time to go to bed.
What is Melatonin Good For?
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Shift workers who have jobs that greatly impact the time(s) of the day that they sleep
- Jet lag or frequent flyers who travel across time zones
There is also a lot of promising research into the effective of melatonin for:
- High blood pressure
- Cancer, particularly those with solid tumours
Is Melatonin Safe to Take?
In comparison to sleep medications, melatonin is safe and has fewer side effects.
BUT some side effects may still occurs which include:
- Daytime sleepiness
- Vivid dreams, anxiety, crankiness, temporary depression
- Dizziness, headache, “heaviness” in the head
- Stomach discomfort
Melatonin can also interact with various medications, so make sure to talk to Your MD or ND before trying melatonin if you take any of the following:
- Anti-coagulants or blood thinners
- Birth control
- Diabetic medications
- Other sleep medications
In addition, I would NOT recommend the use of melatonin in:
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Children or teenagers
- Autoimmune disorders
- Seizure disorders
Can You Increase Your Melatonin Levels Naturally?
- Enforce a screen-free time at least a couple of hours before bedtime
- If you MUST use your screens, ensure that night-time mode is on to turn off the blue light. Blue light is what makes your screens emit the crisp white colours, and this stimulates your brain to think that it isn’t getting dark outside, which results in less production of melatonin by your pineal gland. Melatonin is needed to make you feel sleepy so that you can fall asleep.
- Ensure that your bedroom is dark and quiet
- When you wake up in the morning, make sure that there is plenty of sunshine and light available to let your brain know that it’s time to wake up
- The following foods contain melatonin:
- Tart cherries, goji berries, raspberries
- Orange bell peppers, tomatoes
- Almonds, flaxseeds, walnuts
- Fenugreek, mustard seeds
** Please note that this is NOT medical advice and that you should talk to your healthcare provider before taking this supplement
If you’d like to sit down with me to discuss whether melatonin is a good option for you or to have a customized treatment plan created for your insomnia, CONTACT ME HERE to set up a complimentary 15 min discovery call/meeting and we can get started.
Here are a few more posts on hormones or fatigue that you might also be interested in:
- Hormone Testing
- What To Do If You’re ALWAYS Tired
- Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
- Birth Control Does What Else?!?
- Trying to get pregnant? Test your ferritin levels!
- Endometriosis & Estrogen Dominance
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