How Does Melatonin Help with Sleep?

If you’ve ever asked for help with insomnia or trouble sleeping, you’ve likely heard melatonin mentioned more than once. This hormone is found naturally in the body, and a small gland located just in the middle of the brain normally produces it once the sun starts to go down. However, people with sleep disorders don’t produce the right amount of melatonin naturally, which is why it’s often sold as an over-the-counter supplement at many health food stores and drugstores. Melatonin is currently the only hormone available in the U.S. without a prescription, but although these pills are fairly common, they should not be taken lightly.

In order for melatonin to actually help you sleep, you must take a careful dosage at exactly the right time of day. While many people treat this hormone as a sleeping pill, it is not the same thing at all; in fact, melatonin supplements will not induce sleep on their own. Instead, treat melatonin as a way to create the illusion of “darkness” within the brain. This means that when you take the supplement, it will help you brain to start to prepare for sleep, winding down from daily life and speeding up the preparation for sleep. It is recommended that people take a standard melatonin tablet in the lowest dose one to two hours before you would like to fall asleep. This ensures that you will start to feel sleepy just before bed, and it can drastically reduce the time you spend tossing and turning to try to fall asleep.

Doctors also recommend using a high quality melatonin brand, which is much more reliable and potent. While melatonin is proven to do very beneficial things for the body, such as bringing essential rest to the heart and other organs and acting as an antioxidant in the body’s cells, it can also be dangerous if you use it at the wrong time or in the wrong dose. Always consult your doctor before beginning melatonin treatment.