Is Melatonin the Key to Treat Insomnia?
Most people will have a bout of sleep trouble every now and again. But the same could not be said to several people who have difficulty sleeping or sleeping for any amount of time every night. These people have a condition called insomnia wherein they are unable to get the right amount or any sleep at all. It is estimated that 60 million citizens of the U.S. has some trouble sleeping.
Sleep aid medications are readily available to the public to help them get some well deserved sleep but these solutions are mostly short term and others will even include some unwanted side effects. Fortunately, there might be another option that is just as effective if not safer to use.
Using Sleeping Medications and their Side Effects
Sleeping pills are usually prescribed by doctors mainly for those suffering from short term sleeping troubles. Doctors will prescribe drugs with benzodiazepines and while this can actually help an individual get some shut eye it is not a permanent treatment for insomnia. There are easily acquirable medications available but these are also not the answer to insomnia. These over the counter sleep aids can and will not be as effective within a couple of weeks as the body builds up immunity from the drug. Another issue with over the counter sleeping pills is that they can be habit forming and stopping the use of the medication can cause some kind of withdrawal syndrome which will make their insomnia worse.
Melatonin Supplement as an Alternative Treatment for Insomnia
First of all, what is melatonin? Melatonin is a naturally produced hormone within the brain, more specifically in the pineal gland. Researchers are still pretty much in the dark when it comes to any information about this hormone but they have connected it with sleep.
Studies have shown that during day time melatonin levels in the brain are quite low compared to night time. They have deduced that melatonin levels are connected to our sleep and wake cycle. This is why most doctors believe that melatonin supplements are safe and can help treat insomnia naturally.
While Melatonin is considered relatively safe, there are still some health precautions that should be kept in mind before trying out any melatonin supplement products.
- Pregnant women, children and people under some form of medication or at a high enough blood pressure level should refrain from using melatonin supplements.
- Melatonin may cause some negative side effects for people who have depression, seizures and diabetes to the point where it might worsen these already present conditions.
- It is imperative that individuals do not take melatonin with an exceptional dose of sleeping medications as it can be fatal.
Melatonin might also have some unwanted reaction with following medications:
- Medicines that can slow blood clotting.
- Birth Control Pills
How effective is a Melatonin Supplement to Cure Insomnia?
In terms of its actual effectiveness in combating insomnia, melatonin currently has a couple of tests and researches that helps back up its claims. These tests that were conducted in 2005, while small in scale and not as conclusive, showed that individuals who took melatonin were able to sleep 4 minutes faster than normal and have increased their sleep quality and duration by 3%. At the moment, melatonin supplements will have a bigger impact for the elderly. Melatonin productivity decreases as a person ages and is the cause for many sleep disorders in the elderly. By giving them the right amount of melatonin supplements daily, researcher believes that those suffering from sleep disorders due to old age will be able to sleep better at night.
Melatonin Supplement Conclusion
Melatonin is derived from natural hormones that our brain produces and as such, is believed to be non-habit forming. It appears to be effective based on the short term tests that was conducted but long term benefits are yet to be seen but is promising to say the least. Dosage of melatonin varies from person to person but it is recommended that it is started at 0.3 milligrams. For now, melatonin is showing great promise as an all natural remedy for insomnia.
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