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Perhaps, you already know that melatonin plays an important role in regulating your sleep-wake cycle. It’s a hormone that primarily functions to tell your body that it is time to sleep.
As the evening skies grow dark, your body picks up the changes and communicates a signal to the pineal gland in your brain to increase the release of melatonin. The result is a high melatonin level in your bloodstream during the night.
However, due to sleep disorders and other factors such as age and chronic stress, you may suffer a deficiency in melatonin, which might cause you difficulties in sleeping. That being the case, your body might need supplemental melatonin to reset your circadian rhythm.
But Is Supplemental Melatonin Safe?
Plainly put, YES but read on. The use of melatonin as the main ingredient in sleeping pills and creams has earned a reputation because of its effectiveness in promoting better sleep. We all deserve a quality time in dreamland, after all. So if melatonin is the key, then why not?
But just because it’s a natural hormone doesn’t mean it is 100 percent safe. There are limitations to the use of melatonin that you must know before you take that pill or apply that night cream on your skin. So, what are the safety precautions and risks that you should be aware of?
Melatonin Safety and Risks
First things first. Your sleep problems can be from a number of issues. A proper assessment is needed before taking any supplement.
Next, it is not recommended to use any form of melatonin supplement if you are breastfeeding or pregnant. You should also note that melatonin may cause adverse reactions in people with an autoimmune disorder, seizure disorder, hypertension, and diabetes. We will talk more about this below.
Melatonin Side Effects
Melatonin may reduce blood clotting. It should be used with caution by people who are on anticoagulants such as Warfarin. Combined with blood thinners, melatonin can cause excessive bleeding and bruising.
Blood Sugar Increase
As we mentioned above, melatonin plays a part in the functions of other naturally occurring hormones in the body. Blood sugar regulation, for one, is affected by the presence of circulating melatonin in the bloodstream.
It appears that melatonin increases glucose, which puts people with diabetes at risk for high blood sugar level. If you have diabetes, you need to monitor your glucose level while taking melatonin supplements.
Headache and Dizziness
Can melatonin cause headaches? Like other hormone supplements, melatonin use is also associated with dizziness and headaches. If you experience these, make sure not to drive or use machinery within four to five hours after taking your pill or applying your cream.
How Much Melatonin Is Safe To Take?
Generally, less is more. Though the dosage of melatonin varies from one individual to another, doctors commonly recommend 0.5mg to 5mg taken daily before bedtime. Your doctor will use a melatonin dose chart to determine how much melatonin is safe to take for your condition.
But if you’re wondering how much melatonin for young children is safe, pediatricians usually give 0.1mg to 0.3mg to address children’s sleep problems.
Melatonin is believed to be perfectly safe to take every night in the proper dosage. But remember, you should only consider taking a melatonin pill or using a melatonin cream to remedy your sleeping difficulties when the pros outweigh the cons.
Although it’s a natural hormone, we cannot say that it is 100 percent risk-free. In fact, some sleep aids available over the counter are believed to be physically and psychologically addictive.
Those sleeping pills, however, are formulated not only with hormones but also with sedatives. Sedatives may increase your risk of tolerance and dependence.
Products that contain natural ingredients such as the best natural sleep aid – 3M Sleep Cream is free of sedatives, which is why it is a safe alternative to sleeping pills. As a natural sleep aid, 3M Sleep Cream helps boost melatonin levels in the bloodstream, which allows for a relaxed, restful sleep.
However, if you are not into creams and lotions, there’s another alternative in the form of melatonin supplements gummies you might want to try. Gummies Gone Wild Melatonin Gummies of Whole Family Products is a breakthrough yummy, natural remedy to declining levels of melatonin. These melatonin-infused gummy supplements are available in two flavors, Mixed Berries and Orange, which you surely would love to munch all night. But then again, while there are no reports and studies about melatonin addiction as of this posting, it is probably best to limit doses when possible.
Melatonin hasn’t been linked to any serious side effects in the past, making its safety profile remarkably high. The key, perhaps, is the proper usage and correct dosing. So if you want to give your sleeping problems a fix, melatonin is worth a try!