If you suffer from hot flashes, you've likely tried just about everything to make them go away. From new types of pajamas to essential oils and even adjusting the temperature in your home, there are a number of remedies that may work for some people, but not for all. Melatonin is one of the most common supplements that people take for all kinds of sleep issues - hot flashes included. If you've been considering taking melatonin but aren't sure about its benefits or side effects, here are some facts you should know.
- Your body actually already contains melatonin; it's a hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. When it occurs naturally, melatonin regulates female hormones and menstrual cycles, promotes quality of sleep and acts as an anti-inflammatory.
- Low levels of melatonin can contribute to lack of sleep or insomnia, as well as an increased risk of some cancers.
- Many menopausal women experience sleep issues due to a decrease in melatonin and estrogen.
- If you decide to take melatonin supplements to make up for this decrease in your body's natural melatonin production, it could help you to feel drowsy and keep you asleep for longer periods of time.
- While melatonin won't get rid of your hot flashes, it can improve your quality of sleep, which may help you to stay asleep when a hot flash would normally wake you up.
- When starting melatonin supplements, you should first take the lowest recommended dosage and gauge how it affects your sleep cycle. If it seems like it's working but you may need a higher dosage, incorporate a bit more. Typically, adults should take 3 to 5 milligrams of melatonin.
- For best results, take your melatonin supplements about an hour before bedtime in order for them to kick in by the time you crawl in bed.