Are Melatonin Pills Really The Best Solution To Your Sleep Problems?
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Are Melatonin Pills Really the Best Solution to Your Sleep Problems?

Melatonin is the best and most natural supplement to help you sleep, but melatonin pills contain too much of the drug and can be harmful.

Melatonin pills are not the answer

The concept of using a melatonin supplement to help us sleep is relatively new. Scientists began to discover its properties in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s and pharmaceutical companies began producing melatonin pills in tablet sizes between 3 – 5 milligrams because that was thought to be the correct amount to help people get the effects they needed for a restful night’s sleep. However, the latest research shows that the average male needs only around 150 micrograms and the average female only about 100 micrograms, so normal melatonin pills contain considerably higher amounts of melatonin than are actually needed by our bodies to get the sleep we need.

Because melatonin pills contain too much melatonin, we can experience short­term feelings of depression, headaches, dizziness, stomach cramps, daytime sleepiness and irritability. Instead of taking melatonin pills, the newest and most effective way that melatonin can be administered safely is by using a melatonin spray. A melatonin spray can apply measured doses of the drug directly to your skin, and unlike melatonin pills, bypass the body’s digestive system to make the application much more natural and effective.

What is melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone that’s naturally produced in the body by the pineal gland, a reddish­gray endocrine gland that’s about the same size as a pea and is shaped like a tiny pine cone. It’s located near the center of the brain between the two hemispheres where the two halves of the thalamus are joined together.

The pineal gland secretes melatonin in sync with our circadian rhythms. Melatonin's primary function in the body is to regulate our sleep­wake cycles. Normally, our melatonin levels begin to rise as it gets later in the day as our pineal gland begins to produce more of the hormone in the mid­ to late evening. Then during the night, our pineal gland secretes our highest levels of melatonin and they remain high for most of the night. By early morning, when the sun begins to lighten up our day, our pineal gland cuts back on melatonin production, telling our body to wake up and be ready for a new day. As we get older, our natural levels of melatonin slowly begin to drop. Children seem to have the highest levels of the hormone while some elderly adults make very small amounts of it or none at all.

Other alternatives to help you sleep

Besides melatonin, there are other natural sleep supplement options that can also be effective in helping you get a good night’s sleep. Here are other alternatives that may help you get to to sleep naturally:

Chamomile Tea

People have been drinking chamomile tea to help them sleep as for thousands of years. Even

though the FDA considers chamomile tea to be safe with no side effects, some caution is recommended if you’re allergic to ragweed, and don’t drink it at all if you’re nursing or pregnant.

Valerian root

A number of reviews have suggested that valerian, like melatonin for sleep, is one of today’s best natural sleep supplements and can help people fall to sleep faster as well as improve the quality of their sleep. However, there have been a few reports of people having headaches, stomach upset, or morning grogginess when taking valerian.

Kava

Kava has been shown in some studies to help relieve the symptoms of anxiety. In a 2001 study at Duke University Medical Center, kava was shown to be as effective as benzodiazepines in treating anxiety. In a study reported by the National Institutes of Health, kava was shown to be moderately effective in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder.

Magnesium

Magnesium also appears to contribute to a good night’s sleep. According to the NIH, when the body doesn’t get enough magnesium, nerve cell communication is inhibited in our bodies which leads to cell excitability and we become stressed out and more nervous than normal.

What about lifestyle changes?

A natural sleep supplement can only go so far in helping you get the sleep you need. Today’s sleep experts suggest you should also consider these lifestyle changes to get the right amount of sleep every night:

● Your bedroom should be as free from noise and light as possible. Invest in heavy curtains and window blinds, and use earplugs and even possibly an eye mask.

● Your evening meal should be on the light side, and you should eat a minimum of two hours before going to bed.

● Don't drink any caffeinated drinks at least four to six hours before bedtime. It will stay in your system and keep you awake.

● A little regular exercise such as walking will help you reduce stress, and you’ll sleep better. But don’t do it within two hours of bedtime or you’ll have trouble falling asleep.

● If you must take a daytime nap, do it in the early afternoon and not after 5:00 or you’ll have a problem going back to sleep later that night.

● Any tasks you may be working on should be completed at least an hour before bedtime to give your brain time to settle down and relax.

● Any emotional issues should not be discussed right before bedtime or the irritation and stress will probably keep you awake.

● Keep all your pets outside the sleeping area so that you have the room all to yourself and won’t be bothered by strange movements or noises during the night.

● Make sure that the bedroom thermostat is set to a cool and comfortable temperature and that there is adequate ventilation.

Melatonin for sleep

Taking melatonin for sleep is a natural way to get the rest you need every night. Melatonin seems to be truly a miracle health hormone that we’ll continue to find increasingly valuable in not only helping us sleep but also taking care of our lives, today as well as in the future.

However, melatonin pills are not the answer. Melatonin pills deliver too much melatonin into our system, often causing nausea, dizziness and headaches. Because of the high dosage, melatonin pills can actually destroy your sleep cycle.

The most effective way to take melatonin is not with melatonin pills but with a measured melatonin sleep spray. Combined with the lifestyle changes outlined above, melatonin can be the key to help you sleep safely and naturally.


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