What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland and plays a major factor in sleep management and regulation. Melatonin naturally occurs in our bodies and It has been proven to be highly sensitive to light & dark therapy. Melatonin is used as a supplement to re-condition abnormal sleeping patterns or behaviors.

Sleep-related issues can be caused by a number of factors that you may or may not be aware of that is why supplementing with melatonin can be recommended for treatment of these issues. Melatonin has also been proven to contain neuroprotective effects which are related to the function of your spinal cord, nervous system and brain.

Other effects of melatonin as a supplement

Melatonin is also known to be a very powerful antioxidant; one that can aid in your body’s’ natural process to break down the food you digest. Many anti-cancer fighting properties have been found in studies conducted with melatonin; it’s currently being tested for its potential use in fighting against breast cancer also. On top of its natural role in regulating sleep the offset of great sleep leads to improved health in other areas such as your mood and energy levels.

Melatonin’s Claim

Melatonin’s primary function is to regulate abnormal sleeping patterns in our bodies. Certain groups of people are susceptible to melatonin deficiency which can cause them to always feel drained, groggy, and unfocused among a list of other symptoms. Supplementing with melatonin is recommended if you are known to have a history of deficiency or symptoms related to very draining sleep patterns or lifestyle habits.

Not everyone should supplement with melatonin, however, as supplementation can lead to your body producing lower levels of the hormone as it occurs naturally, which would leave you dependent on supplementation as a source of melatonin instead of the naturally occurring type that is produced within your body.

My Top Melatonin Recommendation

Puritan's Pride Super Strength Rapid Release Capsules, Melatonin, 10 mg (480 Count)Puritan’s Pride Premium Super Strength Melatonin

Puritan’s Pride Premium Super Strength Melatonin is our top recommended melatonin supplement. This product has undergone immense testing in various laboratories and has ranked higher on the purity scale than all of its competition.

Check Out Puritan’s Pride Melatonin on Amazon

What the Melatonin Research Says

Melatonin is the primary hormone secreted by your body to regulate your sleeping patterns. There have been studies conducted on melatonin as a supplement to test for its potential health benefits in people who have a deficiency or are experiencing symptoms that could point to a problem with the natural levels of melatonin their body is producing. Studies have also found that melatonin can have a notable effect on others areas of your health as well.

Below are some of the studies conducted on Melatonin and its effectiveness as a supplement.

  • Melatonin has been found to have a noticeable protective effect against stomach ulcers. Link to the Study
  • Melatonin has been found to be highly effective in cases for treating insomnia. Link to the Study
  • Melatonin is also highly effective for the treatment of heart burn. Link to the Study
  • Melatonin can reduce intraocular pressure in people who may not recognize the symptoms. Link to the Study
  • Melatonin has also been proven to increase memory retention. Link to the Study

You can take a look at some of the studies conducted on melatonin and see the benefits it may potentially have in certain areas of our health although its main purpose is to regulate the circadian rhythm within our sleeping patterns. Melatonin has a wide variety of health benefits associated with it

Who is at risk for deficiency?

Older people are at a high risk for melatonin deficiency as melatonin decreases rapidly during the aging process. Other factors to take into consideration include whether or not you smoke and drink alcohol. If you find yourself eating a lot during bedtime hours, this can also be another indicator that you are deficient in melatonin. Constant drowsiness or fatigue is another sign that you may be deficient in melatonin.

Anxiety, schizophrenia, excessive exposure to the sunlight, and excess vitamin B-12 intake can lead to a reduction in your melatonin levels. While a deficiency in melatonin can be spotted through various symptoms, there is proof pointing to results that show people with diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and SIDS are at more of a risk for melatonin deficiency.

Recommended Dosage

The time of day you take your melatonin supplement is just as important as the dose. Melatonin is produced naturally according to our sleep cycle, if taken too early or too late it can reverse or totally void the intended use for supplementation.

The effects that melatonin supplementation will have on your body is not dependent upon the quantity, the effect that taking a melatonin supplement will have your body all depend on your natural levels. A higher dosage will not necessarily make you go to sleep faster if you already have naturally enough produced melatonin.

The recommended dosage for regulating sleep is around 500mcg to 500mg. It is recommended that you start with the smaller 500mcg dose and then gradually increase as your symptoms call for it. You can buy Melatonin off the shelf in up to 10mg doses.

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Possible Side Effects

There may be a few side effects. Here are the main ones:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Mood swings
  • Risk of seizures
  • Physiological effects
  • Nausea & stomach pain
  • Hallucinations
  • Unusual sleep behavior
  • Grogginess in the morning

Does Melatonin Work?

Yes, Melatonin does indeed work. The question is, will it work for YOU and, if it does, do you actually need to supplement with it or not.

The role melatonin plays in regulating or rest cycles is undeniable. Emerging research is leading scientists on a path of uncovering new findings about the potential medical benefits melatonin could possess outside the area of sleep.

Supplementation with melatonin is highly recommended for people who experience the symptoms commonly associated with a deficiency.

If you just take melatonin to help you sleep better for long periods of time and you are not actually deficient, you may suffer some side effects, and we don’t recommend this.

The role melatonin plays in regulating or rest cycles is undeniable. Emerging research is leading scientists on a path of uncovering new findings about the potential medical benefits melatonin could possess outside the area of sleep.

 

Many symptoms can point to a potential deficiency in melatonin which makes it hard to diagnose. If you are experiencing problems with always being tired or not getting enough rest, you’re probably deficient in melatonin. When it comes to answering the question of “Does it really work?” the short answer is Yes!

Many studies have been performed which produced results that show melatonin’s effectiveness in people experiencing a deficiency.

Should You Supplement with Melatonin?

This depends entirely on your ability to sleep, the activities you do that that affect it, and what you can do to improve sleep quality WITHOUT taking melatonin.

Supplementation with melatonin is highly recommended for people who experience the symptoms commonly associated with a deficiency.

If you just take melatonin to help you sleep better for long periods of time and you are not actually deficient, you may suffer some side effects, and we don’t recommend this.

One interesting thing to note about melatonin is the fact that exercise actually decreases melatonin production and the later in the day you exercise has more of an adverse effect on your melatonin production for up to 3 hours after.

Since there is virtually no way to get around exercising when you are an athlete, you may be at risk of deficiency through hard training; or if not deficient then irregular Melatonin production during the day due to the heavy training.

The takeaway here is that IF you are a hard-training fighter (i.e. you train twice a day), your natural melatonin levels will likely drop due to the training. This MAY effect your sleep, which is why you might want to consider supplementation as a possible solution.

Common signs of a melatonin deficiency

People who have high levels of estrogen should supplement with melatonin due to its protective effects against reducing estrogen levels within the body. People who are experiencing headaches, depression or prostate issues are also urged to see a doctor about information regarding the benefits supplementation with melatonin could possibly have on the symptoms they are experiencing.

Who Should Supplement with Melatonin?

Whether or not supplementation with melatonin is beneficial depends on each individual. When you take a look at the symptoms related to signs of a melatonin deficiency it can really open your eyes! Say for example you’ve been feeling tired all the time, but you can’t notice any significant changes in your habits or training schedule, a melatonin deficiency could very well be the reason! If we take another look at common symptoms, restless sleep is one of them. Not getting enough sleep can have a serious impact on your ability to perform in the gym.

Supplementation with melatonin is recommended for people with a list of the following conditions or symptoms:

  • Pro-longed exposure to sunlight
  • Overtraining (this one applies to fighters)
  • Lack of adequate sleep
  • Cigarette Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Eating during bedtime hours
  • Fatigue

If you experience some of these symptoms regularly, it is advised that you get on a supplementation regime with melatonin. People who exercise a lot or are always exposed to sunlight have a higher risk for melatonin deficiency, therefore, you should supplement with melatonin if your lifestyle reflects any of the habits listed above!

Long-Term Supplementation with Melatonin

Because sleep is something you want to have regularly (and one of the best things you can do for your health), you may, if you suffer from insomnia or bad sleep, consider supplementing with Melatonin for long periods of time, semi-permanently or in some cases, permanently.

However, if you are considering long-term supplementation with it, make sure you consult your doctors to get your melatonin levels checked out. You don’t want to be taking melatonin if you actually don’t NEED it or if your levels are within the normal range. If they not in the normal range, supplementation may help.

Like any hormonal treatments, you should be careful before supplementing for long periods of time as adding in additional hormones into your body may disrupt your regular hormonal production. Here’s a good article that gives some arguments against melatonin that you should consider.

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Melatonin And Fighters

Melatonin is the body’s natural way of telling your brain when to sleep and when to wake up. Fighters train especially hard and use a lot of energy when training, working out or performing.

That is why it’s especially important to pay attention to your melatonin levels when training or preparing for a fight.  The things you want to look for when considering whether or not you should supplement with melatonin are a few key signs such as a lack in your energy levels, excessive eating, restless sleep, bad memory function, depression, anxiety, insomnia, headaches, and migraines.

Exercise is proven to have a significant impact on the body’s natural melatonin production. The later in the day your workout is performed, the harsher the effect it will have on your melatonin production. A decrease in melatonin production after working out has been found to last for up to 3hrs after the workout is performed.

Many fighters train throughout the day and during the night time, being that exercise is essentially the foundation of any sport there really is no way of getting around the adverse effects exercise has on melatonin production. Fighters who train outdoors should especially take heed, as the combination of sunlight and exercise are among the top two contributors leading to a deficiency in melatonin.

The bottom line is that IF you train as a fighter 4 to 5 days a week, twice a day, your melatonin production may decrease. This may contribute to sleep problems. Indeed, on a personal note,

Supplement if: You exercise often during evening hours. Your melatonin is especially susceptible to a reduction during these times. If you are very active in the sunlight, you should supplement with melatonin. Irregular sleep or binge eating during the nighttime may also is a sign you should look into supplementation. Constant fatigue or drowsiness is also another major indicator you should start taking melatonin.

Don’t supplement if: You don’t experience any symptoms that could indicate a deficiency in melatonin such as drowsiness, depression, fatigue, restless sleep, exposure to sunlight for an extended period, enlarged prostate, and anxiety. If you do NOT do a sport 4+ times a week that may be contributing to melatonin deficiency, it’s unlikely you need to take it for long periods of time.

My Experience with Meletonin

I myself experienced serious sleep problems when training 5-6 days a week, twice a day, as a fighter in Thailand. As such, I did supplement daily with meletonin for nearly 3 years; and it proved very effective at helping me fall asleep at night. There is some debate about how long you should take Meletonin, as it is a hormonal treatment. I personally don’t recommend you take it permanently or for long periods of time (cycle it if you can). However, I did take it nearly every day for a few years and besides grogginess in the morning for an hour or two, I did not suffer any other side effects. Also note that when I stopped taking meletonin, I did not suffer problems or sleep issues (other than 3 or 4 days after stopping where it was hard to sleep).

The Final Word About Melatonin

Melatonin is a powerful hormone that does work for most people. It’s backed by research, and there are little to no serious negative effects yet proven.

However, it’s caution is your friend.

As someone who has personally taken it for years on end (every single night), and one who also stopped taking it, my personal recommendation here is to avoid long-term supplementation if you can help it.

Once in a while, is fine, but long-term supplementation may throw your body’s natural production levels way down. Look at alternative ways to get better sleep without taking hormonal therapies like Melatonin.

However, if you can’t find any reasonable alternatives and Melatonin means the difference between poor sleep and good sleep, then take it. I did for years, and it worked for me, helping me sleep after hard days of training (if I didn’t take it, I couldn’t sleep).

Best Melatonin Supplements Picks

Puritan's Pride Super Strength Rapid Release Capsules, Melatonin, 10 mg, 120 CountPuritan’s Pride Premium Super Strength Melatonin

Puritan’s Pride Premium Super Strength Melatonin contains 10mg of melatonin per serving along with one of the highest purity ratings amongst competing melatonin supplements.

This is my best recommendation. They are 10mg which are strong, however. If you want a weaker dose, look for 3mg.

 

Melatonin 5mg Time Release - 100 - TabletNatrol Melatonin

Natrol Melatonin contains 10mg of high-quality melatonin preserving and is fast dissolving. This melatonin supplement does not require water. These are timed release which is more effective.

Nature Made Melatonin Tablets, Value Size, 3 Mg, 240 CountNature Made Melatonin Tablets

Nature Made Melatonin Tablets contain 3mg of melatonin per serving and is 100% natural. This product provides natural sleep aid and relief. I recommend getting the natural kind if you can. Even better, it’s pretty cheap — yo can get 240 tablets for under 10 bucks on Amazon. SO this one is definitely my budget recommendation.

 

 

 

NOW Foods Melatonin 5mg Vcaps, 180 CapsulesNOW Foods Melatonin 5mg

NOW Foods Melatonin 5mg is an all-natural melatonin supplement that contains 5mg per serving.  No artificial flavors or colors added.