Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for your overall wellbeing. If you have trouble sleeping at night, you may find a melatonin supplement helpful. Below is some information about melatonin and its benefits.
Your body produces melatonin naturally in the hours leading up to bedtime. While it does not make you fall asleep, melatonin helps your body relax and prepare for sleep.
Before trying a melatonin supplement, you may want to take steps to make the most of your body’s natural melatonin production first. There are a few ways to do this:
- Prepare for sleep by dimming the lights in your bedroom to a soft, yellow glow about an hour before bed.
- Try to limit the use of cell phones and TV before bed. The blue light from these devices can weaken your body’s natural melatonin cycle.
- Put your phone on silent and keep it in a drawer or another room to prevent disturbances to your sleep.
You can also help “program” your body’s natural melatonin cycle by getting some sunlight in the morning when you wake up. Try sitting by a sunny window in the morning and going for a walk in the afternoon.
If you find that these steps are not helpful, you may want to try a melatonin supplement. If you have difficulty falling asleep, supplemental melatonin may help you fall asleep a bit sooner.
Before you take a melatonin supplement, be sure to talk to your doctor and/or pharmacist to ensure that it is safe for you to do so. Melatonin supplements may interfere with some prescription medications.
When taking a melatonin supplement, less is more. Most people typically only need 1-3 milligrams of melatonin as few hours before bed to get the full effect. If you are not experiencing any improvements to your sleep after two weeks, you may want to discontinue use.
TIP: Harness the power of your body’s natural melatonin cycle by dimming your bedroom lights and avoiding TV and cell phone use before bed. If you do try a melatonin supplement, talk to your doctor first and discontinue use if you do not notice any improvements.