Using Melatonin to Sleep
I have been using melatonin pills to sleep for about two years now. I always suffered from an incredible amount of insomnia, so it has been quite a Godsend for me. It works so well as a sleep aid because the body itself produces melatonin. As night sets in and light levels go down, the pineal gland gradually begins secreting it. This signals to the body that bedtime is approaching and that it needs to slow its roll and begin shutting down certain processes.
Melatonin and Our Internal Clock
The body operates its own ‘internal clock’ of sorts that controls our sleep cycles. It just so happens that this clock is essentially fuelled by melatonin. Even more interesting is the fact that the light around us determines how much of it our bodies produce. Production levels drop sharply in the early hours of the day and slowly start to pick up as afternoon and eventually night approach. By the time full darkness has arrived, our bodies are literally swimming in it .
It sometimes becomes necessary for people like myself to supplement our diets with additional melatonin. There are several reasons why this occurs.
Some people suffer from seasonal disorder. As the seasons change, our bodies switch up their production schedule. This sometimes leads to the depression. It most commonly occurs during winter, when daylight hours run short.
Other people are natural-born insomniacs. It doesn’t help that insomnia can result from many, many conditions:
Too much stress.
Too much anxiety.
Taking certain prescription medications.
Consuming caffeine or nicotine.
Eating too much.
Not exercising enough.
Etc. Etc. Etc.
Regardless, insomniacs like me get tired of tossing and turning in bed, which is why many of us end up using melatonin to sleep.
Reduced Side Effects
What separates melatonin from every other sleep aid out there, particularly pharmaceutical alternatives like Unisom, is that it does not result in grogginess and fatigue the day after. In fact, the side effects of melatonin are practically non-existent. However, the drawback to this is that it’s not as effective at inducing sleep. Suffice it to say, pharmaceutical sleeping aids will knock you right out, while melatonin (If taken correctly) will slowly but surely ease you into sleep.
Several studies conducted during the previous decade discovered that melatonin is not optimal for individuals with serious sleeping problems. While yes it can help those with conditions like sleep apnea and restless legs syndrome, there are better solutions. It’s better used by people who just have trouble falling asleep at night. It basically cuts the time you spend tossing and turning .
Melatonin is not a miracle drug. It’s a natural hormone. If you want to enhance your sleep without suffering from the side effects of pharmaceutical sleep aids, I recommend you give it a try. It comes with minimal risks, and frankly, it has and continues to work just fine for me.