Melatonin is a natural biological neurotransmitter produced by the body to induce sleep. The circadian rhythm is a 24-hour internal clock, and it ensures your body receives enough rest. Melatonin for sleep is released when the environment around you gets dark. For people who lack melatonin or have poor sleep habits due to stress, a natural sleep aid with melatonin can help induce sleep and provide a good night’s rest. Whenever you take any prescription sleep aid or non-prescription sleep aid, check with your doctor. Melatonin can interact with some drugs, so ensure the herbal sleep supplement does not interfere with your doctor’s medication treatment.
Insomnia and Melatonin Sleep Aid
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, melatonin sleep aid helps people with insomnia problems. Small children and infants have the most melatonin production, and the amount of melatonin produced reduces as we age. For this reason, seniors and older adults are typically the age group that needs herbal sleep aids for a good night’s sleep. Melatonin even helps travelers prevent jet lag from long plane trips that cross several time zones.
Before reaching for OTC sleep aids, you can help fight insomnia. First, bright lights slow production of melatonin. Before going to sleep, make sure the room is dark. Keep lighting around you while you relax very dimly lit. Bright lights send messages to the pineal gland to stop melatonin production, so the lights can keep you awake for longer and induce insomnia. Avoid caffeine or any other stimulant. Stimulants increase heart rate and keep you hyperactive instead of relaxing. Melatonin for sleep is interrupted by stimulants and bright lights.
Effects of Insomnia
The effects of insomnia are mostly psychological. The psychological effects can then manifest in physical problems such as poor work performance, trouble concentrating, and accidents and trauma. Mood disorders are also linked to insomnia. The circadian rhythm plays a role in hormone production, so hormone levels may cause personality changes due to poor sleeping habits.
Melatonin pills and extracts are found at a vitamin shop or nutrition store. You can also found melatonin extracts in some teas. The teas are made a few hours before you go to bed, so the melatonin levels increase right before you go to bed. Make sure to check ingredients in any pills, and check with a licensed physician. Even secondary herbal insomnia supplements ingredients can interact with prescribed medication.