Melatonin is considered a miracle cure for a good night's sleep. Dietary supplements with melatonin can effectively help against insomnia, problems falling asleep and jet lag and contribute to better sleep in a natural way. Find out here what you should consider when taking and dosing to support your sleep in the best possible way.
Table of Contents
- Melatonin: silver bullet against sleep disorders
- Melatonin as a dietary supplement
- The right dosage
- Ingestion and dosage forms
- side effects and overdose
Melatonin: silver bullet against sleep disorders
Melatonin is one of our endogenous hormones that plays a key role in controlling our sleep-wake cycle. The messenger substance known for this reason as the "sleep hormone" 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 makes sure to produce enough melatonin on its own so that we can easily fall asleep and only wake up the next morning.
If the hormonal balance is out of balance and our body produces too little melatonin, difficulties falling asleep and staying asleep can stand in the way of restful sleep. In particular, persistent stress, vigorous activity in the evening before going to bed or bright artificial light can inhibit the natural production of melatonin and thus disrupt sleep.
In this article you will find all the important information about the formation and effects of melatonin.
Melatonin as a dietary supplement
The good news: To compensate for a lack of the important sleep hormone and to support its important function in the body, melatonin can also be taken in the form of food supplements or medicines. Studies show that after an additional intake of the sleep hormone you actually fall asleep faster and the European Commission for Food Safety (EFSA) also confirms the positive effect of melatonin-containing food supplements. When taking and dosing, however, a few points should be observed 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 ultimately result in the desired effect not being achieved.
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 a hormonal imbalance, increasing melatonin levels through a dietary supplement can only improve sleep in the short term.
The right dosage
In principle, melatonin can be used in a dose of 0.5 mg to 5.0 mg per day. The amount that really makes sense depends, among other things, on the desired effect. The European Commission for Food Safety (EFSA) recommends a daily intake of 1.0 mg melatonin for mild problems falling asleep. For jet lag, 0.5mg of melatonin per day for 4 to 6 days can be used to help the body adjust to a new time zone. Since everyone works a little differently, it also depends on how our body reacts individually to melatonin. You should therefore always adapt the dosage to your personal circumstances.
Tip: With a smaller quantity (e.g. 0.5 mg) and slowly approach the right dose
Ingestion and dosage forms
Dietary supplements with melatonin come in different forms, for example capsules, tablets, sprays or drops. Capsules and tablets usually already contain an exact dose of 0.5 mg or 1.0 mg melatonin and are usually swallowed, chewed or sucked half an hour to an hour before going to bed.
Melatonin sprays are sprayed directly into the mouth and allow a more individual dosage thanks to the easily adjustable number of sprays. Melatonin drops are also easy to dose. Since the ingredients are absorbed directly through the pharyngeal mucosa, sprays and drops usually work a little faster and can be taken about half an hour before going to bed.
Side effects and overdose
Melatonin is usually harmless and well tolerated, even in large quantities. There are no known warnings about taking melatonin. However, improper use, such as repeated intake throughout the day, can lead to slight headaches, daytime tiredness or gastrointestinal problems. You should therefore pay attention to an appropriate dose and only take the sleep hormone before going to bed - i.e. precisely when an increasing melatonin level corresponds to the natural circadian rhythm and tiredness is desired. In any case, scientific studies assume that the time it takes to fall asleep does not improve if the recommended maximum dose of 5.0 mg is exceeded.
"A lot helps a lot" does not apply to the sleep hormone. If you want to support your sleep with melatonin, you can approach the optimal amount for you bit by bit. In any case, pay attention to when you take a supplement with melatonin, because after the onset of tiredness there is at best only one thing to follow - well-deserved sleep!
A lack of melatonin can lead to insomnia and problems falling asleep and staying asleep.
The positive effect of dietary supplements with melatonin has been proven in studies and confirmed by the European Commission for Food Safety.
A daily intake of 0.5 - 1.0 mg of melatonin is recommended for mild sleep disorders or jet lag.
Melatonin is considered safe, but severe overdose or incorrect use can lead to slight side effects such as headaches and daytime sleepiness.
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