Melatonin is considered a miracle cure for a good night's sleep. Melatonin supplements can effectively help against insomnia, problems falling asleep and jet lag and contribute to a better sleep in a natural way. Find out here what you should consider when taking melatonin and the dosage to support your sleep in the best possible way.
Table of contents
- Melatonin: Miracle weapon against sleep disorders
- Melatonin as a dietary supplement
- The right dosage
- Intake and dosage forms
- Side effects and overdose
Melatonin: Miracle weapon against sleep disorders
Melatonin is one of our body's hormones, which is significantly involved in the control of our sleep-wake rhythm. Known as the "sleep hormone" for this reason, it regulates our circadian rhythm (our internal clock) and ensures that we become tired and sleepy in the evening. As it gets darker, our body normally takes care of itself to produce enough melatonin so that we can fall asleep easily and not wake up until the next morning.
If the hormonal balance is out of balance and our body does not produce enough melatonin, problems falling asleep and staying asleep can stand in the way of restful sleep. In particular, prolonged stress, intense activity in the evening before bedtime or bright artificial light can inhibit the natural production of melatonin and disrupt sleep in this way.
In this article you will find all the important information about the formation and effect of melatonin.
Melatonin as a dietary supplement
The good news is that to compensate for a deficiency of the important sleep hormone and to support its important function in the body, melatonin can be taken additionally in the form of supplements or medicines. Studies show that one actually falls asleep faster after an additional intake of the sleep hormone and also the European Commission for Food Safety (EFSA) confirms the positive effect of melatonin-containing food supplements. However, when taking and dosing, some points should be taken into account so that you can improve your sleep in the best possible way according to your individual needs. Because the wrong dose or improper intake can reduce the effect and lead to the fact that the desired effect ultimately fails to materialize.
Attention: Whether the additional intake of melatonin can help against your sleep problems also depends on the cause of the sleep disorders. If the actual cause is not an imbalance in the hormone balance, increasing the melatonin level with a dietary supplement can only improve sleep in the short term.
The correct dosage
In principle, melatonin can be used in a dose of 0.5 mg to 5.0 mg per day. The amount that is really useful depends, among other things, on the desired effect. For mild problems falling asleep, the European Food Safety Commission (EFSA) recommends taking 1.0 mg of melatonin daily. For jet lag, 0.5 mg of melatonin per day over a period of 4 to 6 days can be used to help the body adjust to a new time zone. Since everyone functions a little differently, it also depends on how our body reacts individually to melatonin. You should therefore always adjust the dosage to your personal circumstances.
Tip: Start with a smaller amount (e.g. 0.5 mg) and slowly approach the right dose.
Consumption and dosage forms
Melatonin supplements are available in various forms, for example as capsules, tablets, sprays or drops. Capsules and tablets usually already contain an exact dose of 0.5 mg or 1.0 mg of melatonin and are usually swallowed, chewed or sucked half an hour to an hour before bedtime.
Melatonin sprays are sprayed directly into the mouth and allow for more customized dosing due to the easily adjustable number of sprays. Also easy to dose are melatonin drops. Since the ingredients are absorbed directly through the mucous membrane of the throat, sprays and drops usually work somewhat faster and can be taken about half an hour before bedtime.
Side effects and overdose
Melatonin is generally harmless and well tolerated even in large quantities. There are no known warnings about taking melatonin. However, if used improperly, such as taking it repeatedly during the day, you may experience mild headaches, daytime sleepiness, or gastrointestinal distress. You should therefore pay attention to an appropriate dose and only take the sleep hormone before going to bed - just when a rising melatonin level corresponds to the natural circadian rhythm and tiredness is desired. In any case, scientific studies suggest that if the recommended maximum dose of 5.0 mg is exceeded, the time it takes to fall asleep will not improve.
So "a lot helps a lot" does not apply to the sleep hormone. If you want to support your sleep with melatonin, you can therefore gradually approach the optimal amount for you. Just make sure at what time you take a supplement with melatonin, because after the emerging tiredness only one thing follows at best - the well-deserved sleep!
A melatonin deficiency can lead to sleep disorders as well as problems falling asleep and staying asleep.
The positive effect of food supplements with melatonin has been proven in studies and confirmed by the European Commission for Food Safety.
For mild sleep disorders or jet lag, a daily intake of 0.5 - 2.0 mg of melatonin is recommended. The maximum recommended dose is 5.0 mg.
Melatonin is considered safe, but mild side effects such as headaches and daytime sleepiness may occur with severe overdose or incorrect use.
Best regards and see you soon!