Melatonin is a hormone and not a remedy for insomnia

Cheryl E Preston
Melatonin might helo shift workersPhoto byChroki ChionUnsplash

Melatonin misconceptions persist

There are many misconceptions related to Melatonin which is is a hormone naturally produced by the brain in response to darkness, Watching television, or using a computer or cell phone large at night can interfere with the body's ability to recognize it is nighttime and it may be difficult to fall asleep. Melatonin assists in regulating the body’s circadian rhythm AKA sleep-wake cycles,

According to the National Institutes of Health there are dietary supplements that are currently being used to help individuals fall asleep that contain synthetic versions of melatonin made in a lab and there is concern about side effects.

While melatonin supplements have long been recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine to help treat certain sleep disorders caused by circadian rhythm disruptions — such as jet lag or sleep issues caused by shift work — recent guidelines also caution against taking it for insomnia or in other situations where it is difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep.
Melatonin may not help you with insomniaPhoto bySander SammyonUnsplash

Melatonin works best for shift workers and those experiencing jet lag

Melatonin can assist with jet lag or sleep disturbances that are shift work–related for those who work the night shift and cannot sleep during the day because these situations are typically caused by disruptions to the body’s internal clock. When produced naturally by the body natural melatonin (also found in some supplement versions) can help set your body’s circadian rhythm and keep sleep patterns on schedule.

The reason melatonin doesn’t tend to help with other sleep disorders like insomnia is that the underlying causes of those issues are for different reasons. This is why some experts are concerned that there is a risk for addiction to melatonin supplements the same way some people become addicted to sleeping pills.

“Insomnia — especially chronic insomnia — is rarely a problem that can be fixed by melatonin,” . “That is not what it’s for.”

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I am a native Virginian who writes, about breaking news, nutrition, history, celebrities, and current events that are of interest to those living in the Commonwealth.

Roanoke, VA

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