By: Griffin McKenzie
Entrepreneur, Health Coach, and Blogger
In this day and age, we’ve all heard of people popping melatonin supplements to help them sleep. Some people experience dramatic results, while others aren’t impressed by the effects. In this post, we’ll unpack the science behind melatonin, who can benefit from it, and the most effective way to feel the results.
What is it?
Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain, and it is released more in the dark, and less in the light. Thus, it is crucial that melatonin supplements are taken at the right time of day, so that one’s internal clock doesn’t get reset at the wrong time (1). Melatonin levels are meant to be at their highest between 9:00 pm and 9:00 am, when the body should be asleep. But if we’re honest, few of us are lucky enough to get a full 12 hours of sleep, and thus, our melatonin production can suffer. The consistency and health of our sleep schedule has a dramatic impact on our mood, metabolism, and hormonal balance, so it cannot be overlooked.
Do I need melatonin?
If you have trouble falling or staying asleep, you can benefit from melatonin. If you don’t struggle with sleeplessness, melatonin can still be useful, but you may not notice as dramatic of an impact on your circadian rhythm. Additionally, if you live in the city, where light is constantly pouring through your windows, or if you tend to gaze at the TV screen for hours before bed, your body could need a reinforcement of melatonin to combat the excess light you’re taking in. Melatonin has provided remarkable results for specific populations, such as elderly patients with insomnia and children on the autism spectrum (2). It has also been shown to mitigate hormonal changes in menopause and lower stress levels, in addition to other immune benefits (3).
How much is too much?
As with any supplement, it’s important to not become dependent on a single ingredient to solve a problem. While the side effects of melatonin are minimal, it’s important to start with a sample and maintain consistency for a few weeks to a month to truly test its effects. In our Sleep iQ supplement, melatonin is paired with other ingredients, such as mucuna pruriens and phellodendron, which have been shown to reduce anxiety, stress, and sleeplessness. By combining more than one sleep-aid in a single supplement, your body will receive a well-balanced sleep formula to calm your body without creating feelings of dependency.
1. National Sleep Foundation. Melatonin and Sleep. https://sleepfoundation.org/
2. Gringras P, Nir T, Breddy J, Frydman-Marom A, Findling RL. Efficacy and Safety of
Pediatric Prolonged-Release Melatonin for Insomnia in Children With Autism Spectrum
Disorder. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2017;56(11):948-
3. Chojnacki C, Walecka-Kapica E, Klupinska G, Pawlowicz M, Blonska A, Chojnacki J.
Effects of fluoxetine and melatonin on mood, sleep quality and body mass index in
postmenopausal women. J Physiol Pharmacol. 2015;66(5):665-671.