When we suffer from insomnia and sleeping problems, many are quick to recommend melatonin. The name might sound daunting and sleeping medication has a bad reputation, but melatonin can normally be found in our body.
Today your amicable McAllen pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy will help give you a better understanding of melatonin and how it may help you get a restful night of sleep.
An Overview of Melatonin
Melatonin based sleep aids have been growing in popularity. As of 2012, three million Americans reported to be using melatonin according to a nationwide survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland. The pineal gland is a pea-sized gland found right above the middle point in your brain. It allows your body to tell when it’s time to go to sleep, and when to wake up.
Your body makes more melatonin at night, causing you to become sleepy. As the sun rises, and night becomes morning, your levels of melatonin drop, telling your body it is time to wake up.
The amount of light you let yourself receive helps your body to adjust its own bodily clock, which sets how much melatonin your body makes. Melatonin’s main job in the body is to regulate your sleep-wake cycles.
Reasons To Take It
Sleep issues are the main reasons to take melatonin without fail. There are several sleep disorders that can be treated with melatonin and your doctor is very likely to suggest it to you.
People use melatonin when they have occasional insomnia — trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. They also take it for some other sleep problems. Trouble falling asleep at a conventional bedtime (delayed sleep phase syndrome) is one of the more common conditions.
This could include something called delayed sleep phase disorder. If you suffer from delayed sleep phase disorder, going to bed at an appropriate hour must be proving to be extremely difficult. As well, waking up and falling asleep before 2 a.m. is tough. So getting up in the morning becomes even more difficult and leaves you feeling unrested.
Melatonin is also useful to treat or prevent jet lag. A common condition frequent flyers may get when they’re traveling across time zones.
Taking melatonin by mouth has proved to reduce the length of time needed to fall asleep in young adults and children who have trouble falling asleep. However, within one year of stopping treatment, the sleeping issue may return without proper medical attention.
Regardless, melatonin can’t take the place of a doctor’s care and treatment for serious sleep disorders like obstructive sleep apnea, narcolepsy, or long-term insomnia.
Melatonin is a quite safe supplement to use to treat your occasional insomnia, or sleeping issues while waiting to get proper treatment from your primary care provider.
While melatonin rarely causes any side effects compared to other sleep medications, you could still find yourself with the following side effects:
- Drowsiness during the day
- Stomach discomfort
- A “stuffy head” sensation
- Short and temporary depression
Melatonin is very safe, but it is worth keeping in mind that it might cause problems if you consume it along with certain medications like:
- Blood-thinning medications (anticoagulants)
- Drugs that suppress the immune system (immunosuppressants)
- Diabetes drugs
- Birth control pills
Make sure to tell your doctor if you’re thinking about taking any supplement, especially if you have a current prescription or have a health condition.
In rare cases, the natural form of melatonin supplements might be flawed and contain a virus or other issues. If you decide to use melatonin, it is in your best interest to pick a synthetic type.
Stop By Saenz Pharmacy To Put Your Sleeping Issues to Rest
Making sure to get the right supplement for you is of utmost importance if you want to benefit from it. That is why your McAllen pharmacists at Saenz Pharmacy are ready to provide you with all the necessary recommendations and information. Your local pharmacist can help you choose the supplement you need and instruct you on its proper use.