Melatonin Supplement

Melatonin supplements are easily accessible in online or offline health shops and pharmacies. The long term effects of melatonin are still unknown, since it is sold as food supplement and not a drug, it is not subject to the approval of the FDA. Taking 1 mg to 5 mg of melatonin is enough to cause the blood levels of melatonin to rise at normal nighttime levels, this leads to drowsiness and sleep. Melatonin does not have side effects that is associated with the use of sedatives, sleeping pills and tranquilizers. Sedatives and tranquilizers are always associated with hang overs and it can also be addictive. There are Melatonin side effects  that you may experience, the most common is sleepiness during daytime, feeling dizzy and getting headaches. Aside from taking melatonin, people suffering from insomnia may also find it useful to take other steps to help them sleep better. They can train themselves to stick with a fixed sleeping routine. Drinking milk, avoiding stimulants and doing exercise just before going to bed are also helpful in getting a better sleep.

Melatonin Supplement Forms

Melatonin tablets, melatonin pills, melatonin capsules and sublingual melatonin. Melatonin tablets are available in sustained release or regular release form. Sustained release provides continual release of melatonin over the time span of a normal sleeping period. Other names for sustained release are timed release and controlled release. Regular release delivers melatonin as the melatonin tablet or capsule is being digested, this delivers melatonin in a relatively short time. It is best to use regular release melatonin to get a boost of sleep.

There are two types of melatonin that may be used in these melatonin pills; Natural melatonin and synthetic (man-made) melatonin. Natural melatonin is extracted from the pineal gland of animals. This natural form of melatonin can be contaminated with a virus and is not recommended.

Liquid Melatonin/Melatonin Liquid – The liquid form of melatonin is fast acting because it is easily absorbed by the digestive system. Liquid melatonin is not always available in health shops.

Sublingual Melatonin – melatonin is also available in lozenge form that dissolve under the tongue.

  • Since food supplements are not regulated by the FDA, it is very important that you select a trusted manufacturer of Melatonin supplements. Looking for the “USP” symbol is a good idea. This means that the supplement has been checked for right amounts of the right ingredients.
  • Most melatonin supplements are synthetic, some melatonin supplements use melatonin that comes from the pineal gland of animals like sheep or cows. Synthetic melatonin is safer, the animal version of melatonin can be contaminated with virus and other contaminants.
  • If you are suffering from chronic health problems or if you are taking prescription medications, talk to your doctor before taking melatonin.

When you start taking melatonin supplements, you may experience some of the side effects associated with the use of melatonin.  Melatonin side-effects are generally mild and not life threatening as long as you are in good shape.

Melatonin References:

Webb SM, Puig-Domingo M. Role of melatonin in health and disease. Clin Endocrinol . 1995;42:221-234.

Cowley G. Melatonin. Newsweek . 1995;Aug 7:46. laustrat, B., Brun, J., David, M., Sassolas, G., & Chazot,
G. (1992).

Melatonin and Jet Lag: Confirmatory Result Using a Simplified Protocol. Biological Psychiatry, 32, 705-711.

Jan, J. (1994). The Treatment of Sleep Disorders With Melatonin. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 36, 97-107.

Lino, A., Silvy, S., Condorelli, L., & Rusconi, A. (1993). Melatonin and Jet Lag: Treatment Schedule. Biological Psychiatry, 34, 587.

Zhdanova, I. (1995). Sleep – inducing effects of low doses of melatonin ingested in the evening. Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 57, 552-558.

Arendt J. Melatonin. Clin Endocrinol . 1988;29:205-229.
Borbely AA. Commentary on the articles by Arendt, Weaver, Mahle, et al, and Guardiola-Lemaitre. J Biol Rhythms . 1997;12:707-708.

Pharmacology and physiology of melatonin in the reduction of oxidative stress in vivo. Biol Signals Recept 2000 May-Aug; 9(3-4):160-71.

Differential growth inhibitory effect of melatonin on two endometrial cancer cell lines. J Pineal Res 2000 28(4):227-33.

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