Melatonin is a natural sleep hormone the body produces that regulates sleep. In 2017 the U.S. consumers spend more than $437 million on melatonin supplements. This equivocates to 3 million adults and half a million children. Sadly studies have shown that not everyone who takes melatonin actually gets the benefits. Those that have insomnia have very little changes in sleep when taking the supplement. It does help those with autism, delayed sleep phase disorder (extreme night owl), advanced sleep phase disorder (extreme morning larks), shift work disorder, or jet lag.
The supplement has to be taken at the right time (around 2 hours before going to sleep) to have the right effect. This works for the circadian rhythm that the body uses to know when to go to sleep and when to wake up. Melatonin is good for short-term use of a few months. Not all melatonin supplements are the same. In a study 71% of the supplements had more or less than what the bottle claimed. Along with 26% having a neurotransmitter serotonin chemical added in to the mix that is found in antidepressant medication. Healthy children should not take melatonin. Those with development disorders can take the supplement under doctors care. This is because those that have autism and ADHD have very low melatonin levels and need the extra boost to get to sleep.
Secret: Melatonin can increase blood sugar levels in healthy adults. Those on high blood pressure medication, birth control pills, and those with diabetes should not use melatonin.
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