Melatonin is a well-liked complement usually taken to assist individuals sleep. Your mind naturally produces melatonin within the evenings, signaling to the physique when it is time to sleep. Some individuals could produce much less melatonin than others, although, which might make it more durable to go to sleep and keep asleep. For others, nervousness or poor sleep hygiene could also be responsible, and melatonin is solely a fast repair.
However as widespread as it’s to take melatonin earlier than mattress, there are all the time dangers to pay attention to with any complement or drug you place in your physique. As a result of melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone, it is much less regarding than an precise remedy, however docs nonetheless need individuals to be aware when taking it to make sure that it isn’t misused. POPSUGAR spoke with two docs to study how one can safely take melatonin with out turning into depending on it.
Can You Get Hooked on Melatonin?
Melatonin typically is not thought of habit-forming as a result of it does not have addictive properties. Medicine can sign adjustments within the mind that, over time, make it troublesome to cease utilizing them. When taken as really useful, there must be no trigger for concern with melatonin. “The definition of habit is an incapability to cease utilizing a substance regardless that it’s inflicting psychological or bodily hurt,” David Cutler, MD, a household medication doctor at Windfall Saint John’s Well being Middle in Santa Monica, CA, tells POPSUGAR. “Melatonin is secure, low cost, and simply accessible. There isn’t a proof in anyway that it’s ever addictive. That’s not to say it will not be abused. However it is extremely unlikely to trigger any vital hurt when used as directed.”
Nonetheless, melatonin can develop into a lot part of somebody’s each day routine that they might really feel like they cannot sleep with out it. “Many individuals who take melatonin for insomnia can also have some extent of tension, particularly round sleep — and that is the place routines develop into locked in, and folks can develop into anxious with any change to a specific routine, equivalent to taking melatonin,” explains Alex Dimitriu, MD, a double board-certified doctor in psychiatry and sleep medication and founding father of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medication and BrainfoodMD. If somebody turns into so reliant on melatonin that they are virtually afraid to seek out out what would occur in the event that they stopped taking it, they might have what Dr. Dimitriu calls a psychological habit.
How Lengthy Can You Safely Take Melatonin?
Although melatonin is not bodily addictive, docs nonetheless advise in opposition to taking it for extended durations of time. Dr. Dimitriu recommends taking melatonin for not than three months, including that his go-to recommendation for insomnia is definitely to scrub up your sleep hygiene. Which means powering down your units within the night (Dr. Dimitriu’s rule: “Tech off at 10”), and taking different steps to set the stage for higher sleep, together with going to mattress and waking up on the similar time every single day, conserving your bed room darkish and funky, and getting common train and daylight, which helps regulate your circadian rhythm.
Dr. Cutler additionally prefers pure strategies over dietary supplements. “It has been well-established that the simplest remedy for insomnia is cognitive behavioral remedy,” Dr. Cutler says, including that it is “secure, efficient, and common.” This type of remedy can assist calm nervousness, permitting you to sleep higher.
Your physician can assist rule out any underlying circumstances that could be contributing to your sleep points and provide you with a therapy plan that is finest suited to your wants. Which will or could not embrace melatonin — but when it does, ensure the 2 of you talk about the right dosage, which might differ primarily based in your age and life-style. Taking an excessive amount of melatonin may cause you to really feel drowsy through the day, which might hinder your productiveness and even be harmful. That is particularly vital when you’re a caregiver or work in an setting that requires you to be alert.