One of the most common issues that people struggle with in this country is sleep. Some people have extreme difficulty falling asleep while others who fall asleep just fine have issues staying asleep. While everyone’s sleep issues are slightly different, they all deserve to be taken seriously. There are many different options that have been discussed which may help with people’s sleep issues; however, one option that has gained traction recently is melatonin. This molecule has been pushed hard as a potential sleep aid for those who haven’t had success with other options. It is important that people understand some of the basic information about melatonin before trying it on their own.
Correcting Sleep Problems: Sleep Hygiene
One of the first steps that people should take to explore the causes of their sleep disturbances is to correct their sleep hygiene. The body needs to be trained to fall asleep when it climbs into bed. Therefore, there are a few habits that people should remember:
Regular Bedtime and Wake up Time: First, try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. This will train the body to fall asleep and wake up with a set routine, helping people to fall asleep faster and wake up feeling refreshed.
Avoid Caffeine Before Bed: While many people struggle to stay awake and rely on caffeine for help, drinking caffeine after dinner will cause people to stay up later than they would like. It will also impede the body’s ability to fall asleep.
The Bed is for Sleep Only: Many people like to watch TV right before they fall asleep. Unfortunately, these electronic lights are stimulating to the brain and can make it hard to fall asleep. Try to avoid these lights before bed and train the body that the bed is for sleeping only.
What About Melatonin?
Many people have heard that taking melatonin at night can help with many of the sleep problems that people struggle with on a regular basis. Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by the human body. The pineal gland is a small gland near the middle of the brain and makes a number of hormones, including melatonin. As the sun sets, the amount of light will drop. This decrease in light triggers the pineal gland to produce melatonin, causing levels of melatonin in the blood to rise. This increase in melatonin levels causes the body to feel less alert, making it easier to fall asleep. When daylight comes around again and people wake up, the levels of melatonin in the blood will fall rapidly, causing people to feel more alert when they wake up.
Should People Take Melatonin?
Melatonin is unique because it is the only hormone that is available without a prescription, making it popular as a sleep aid; however, people should remember that this drug does have an number of potent side effects despite its lack of prescription requirement. Yes, it can be helpful for correcting sleep problems; however, people need to make sure to dose this medication correctly. The dosage amounts can vary depending on the manufacturer. People should make sure to take this at the proper time each day. In addition, everyone should make sure to correlate the amount needed with the severity of their sleep issues. It could be helpful to speak with an experienced medical provider to make sure that all of this is done correctly. If used properly, it can significantly help people both fall and stay asleep at night. If used improperly or incorrectly, people could reset their biological clock and wind up falling asleep in the middle of the work day.