For decades, the medical field has studied melatonin for a variety of uses, namely its sleep-inducing properties. Melatonin is a hormone produced in the brain; its release is stimulated by darkness and suppressed by light. According to the Mayo Clinic, levels of melatonin in the blood are highest just before bedtime.
Since it is judged to be a very safe natural supplement, it may be worth a try if you are experiencing sleep disorders. As always, those of us at Home Care Assistance Columbus recommend you ask your doctor before taking any over-the-counter supplements. Here is a summary of the most-studied uses for melatonin, according to the Mayo Clinic:
- JET LAG: Overall, the scientific evidence does suggest benefits of melatonin in up to half of people who take it for jet-lag, starting on the day of travel and taken for several days after arrival.
- DELAYED SLEEP PHASE SYNDROME (DSPS): Results are promising for melatonin’s role in improving DSPS — a condition that results in delayed sleep onset despite normal sleep architecture and sleep duration.
- INSOMNIA IN THE ELDERLY: Several human studies report that melatonin taken by mouth before bedtime decreases the amount of time it takes to fall asleep in elderly individuals Improved sleep quality and morning alertness has also been reported.
- SLEEP ENHANCEMENT IN HEALTHY PEOPLE: The weight of scientific evidence does suggest that melatonin decreases the time it takes to fall asleep, increases the feeling of “sleepiness,” and may increase the duration of sleep.
In addition, studies have shown some promise that melatonin may help with a number of other issues and disorders: regulating body temperature as we age; age-related macular degeneration; as an anti-inflammatory; anti-anxiety treatment; improving effectiveness of cancer treatment; chronic fatigue syndrome; exercise performance; adjunct therapy for diabetes; glaucoma; headache prevention; high blood pressure; seasonal effective disorder; stroke recovery; tinnitus; sunburn prevention, among other things. If it’s safe for you, why not!