If you find it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep at night, using melatonin supplements may be able to help. Melatonin is a hormone that plays an important part in our circadian rhythms. In other words, the times during which we feel tired and are ready to fall asleep are regulated partially by melatonin. Melatonin is produced by the brain in response to darkness, so once it’s night, your brain signals for your body to sleep.
If you experience difficulty sleeping or any number of sleep disorders like delayed sleep phase, jet lag, or simply have trouble staying asleep throughout the night, consider melatonin supplements to help support your internal clock and help you get a better night’s sleep.
This guide covers everything you need to know about melatonin dosage, how to start taking melatonin to support sleep, and what other behaviors can help you fall asleep and stay asleep during the night. Read on to learn more!
Knowing how much of a supplement to take for maximum results is vital to getting the best results possible and avoiding as many side effects as possible.
Dosages are sometimes calculated based on weight or age, but in melatonin’s case, weight is the best way to calculate how much you need. In regards to how much melatonin you can take, weight and a few other health related factors are considered. Read on to learn more about melatonin dosage by weight.
While some over the counter melatonin dosages range from 1 to 10 mg, it’s best to start small. Even for adults, starting as low as 0.5 mg to 3 mg at a time can help you figure out what dosage you need. Start small and simply work your way up from there, increasing dosages if necessary. This is especially effective for treating jet lag and general support for sleep. The maximum amount adults should take over the counter is 10 mg at a time, however, this can often result in drowsiness the next day.
What About for Kids?
If your child is experiencing difficulty sleeping, you may consider giving them a small dose of melatonin to help. For children under three years of age, aim for 0.3 to 0.5 mg of melatonin to begin with.
Potential Side Effects
There are potential side effects of melatonin to be aware of, such as drowsiness the following day, hormone changes, headaches, dizziness, and stomach discomfort or nausea. The best way to avoid these side effects is to start with smaller doses of melatonin.
Why is Melatonin Important?
Melatonin is an excellent way to promote better sleep. Since sleep is a vital function to help our bodies rest, recharge, and reset for the next day, this benefits a range of health concerns. Better sleep means better health!
Other Tips for Better Sleep
Using melatonin can help promote a range of support for your sleep behavior and habits. However, when used by itself, it’s not as effective as when it’s used with other nighttime behaviors. Here are a few other tips for better sleep that you can incorporate into your daily routine to see maximum results.
First, establish a nighttime routine. This can help your body wind down after a long day of work and responsibilities and get prepared for bed. Think of whatever activities help you relax. Maybe you think of taking a bath, or maybe you think of relaxing yoga or simply performing your skin care routine and changing into your pajamas. Find whatever relaxing activities help you wind down and establish a routine to get your mind and body ready for bed.
It’s common for stress and anxiety to keep us up at night as well. When left unaddressed, stress can turn into worrisome thoughts that can be distracting and race through your head as you’re trying to fall asleep. So, decompressing and relieving stress before bed is a must. Journaling, yoga, exercise, and meditation are all great ways to help relieve stress.
Be aware of how much caffeine you’re consuming during the day and limit your caffeine after noon. Caffeine can stay in your body as long as 10 hours before finally filtering out, which can impact your feelings of tiredness at night.
Some studies also show a connection between light exposure and decreased melatonin production. When it’s dark outside and inside, our brains produce melatonin. However, lights and digital screens may be emitting light that stops the production of melatonin. Be aware of how much light exposure you’re consuming before bed.