The effects of a sleepless night can follow you all through the following day. Eventually, the lack of quality sleep can have negative consequences in a person’s physical, mental and emotional health. Luckily, if you seldom need assistance in falling asleep, there is an assortment of herbal, non-prescription and prescription remedies which are obtainable. Several dietary supplements have melatonin which is a hormone produced and secreted inside the brain that regulates sleep. Although, melatonin is natural, you need to take precautionary measures when you combine it with other medications for the treatment of insomnia. Discuss with your doctor if you have plans of taking melatonin together with another sleeping aid.
How Melatonin Functions
Melatonin is a type of hormone that is beneficial for plants and animals in maintaining their regular daytime/nighttime and sleep/wake cycles of life. For humans and other mammals, most of the supply of melatonin in the body is produced and secreted by the small pineal gland. The body forms its melatonin with the use of amino acid tryptophan as the primary component. In humans, melatonin is produced during nighttime. Production and release of melatonin is slowed if exposed to light. Several dietary supplements manufactured in the laboratory through chemical synthesis have melatonin while others obtain their melatonin from the pineal glands of cows. Melatonin supplements can be useful for individuals whose sleep cycles are disrupted because of travel or late-shift work.
Prescription Sleeping Pills
Using melatonin together with prescription sleep aids is considered a double-edged sword. Melatonin can help in making a person sleep faster, reduce the dose of prescription sleep aids anyone taking and grogginess you will feel the following day is avoided. Alternatively, if melatonin is combined with other sleep aids, this may result to excessive sleepiness and probably pose a risk for accidents. Try to avoid any kind of activity which necessitates mental alertness after you used melatonin alone or along with other sleep medicines. It is for this reason that the National Institutes of Health website MedlinePlus does not recommend taking melatonin together with sedatives and other depressants for the central nervous system such as Phenobarbital, lorazepam, zolpidem and clonazepam. Because of this risk, it is even more important to consult your doctor before combining melatonin with other sleeping aids.
Several antihistamines used in remedies for allergy and colds can lead to drowsiness. Majority of the non-prescription sleeping pills have antihistamine as the active component. Doxylamine, diphenhydramine and chlorphenamine should be used alone and at times, in combination of pain relievers. When it comes to prescription sleeping pills adding melatonin can only intensify drowsiness and sluggishness. This can be harmful if circumstances change and you have to be awake for a little longer.
Herbs and Supplements
Dietary supplements which have been used in treating insomnia consist of valerian, skullcap, California poppy, tryptophan, nepeta cataria, chamomile, catnip, kava, hops and other components alone or in combination. Both websites of the National Institutes of Health and Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality of America cannot document any particular interactions between melatonin and any kind of herbal or supplemental sleep aids. However, the same risks of too much drowsiness and sleepiness are applicable to sedative herbs and supplements.