You've probably heard of melatonin before. It's that "natural sleep aid" that you can buy over the counter at any drug store. But what exactly is it? And does it work? Here's everything you need to know about melatonin supplement benefits.
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by the pineal gland in your brain. This hormone helps to regulate your body's sleep-wake cycle. When it's dark outside, your body produces more melatonin, which makes you feel sleepy. When it's light outside, your body produces less melatonin, which makes you feel awake.
How Does Melatonin Work?
You can think of melatonin as a switch that tells your body when it's time to sleep and when it's time to wake up. Usually, your body regulates this hormone on its own just fine. But sometimes, you might need a little help. That's where supplements come in.
When you take a melatonin supplement, it essentially tricks your body into thinking it's dark outside even when it's not. This can be helpful if you're trying to fall asleep during the day (if you're working a night shift) or if you're trying to adjust to a new time zone (if you're traveling overseas).
Does Melatonin Work?
The scientific jury is still out on whether or not melatonin actually works. Some studies say it does, while other studies say it doesn't make much of a difference. But the anecdotal stories from hundreds and thousands of satisfied reviewers tell a completely different tale. From children struggling with ADHD to adults with jet lag, people are falling asleep faster and staying asleep longer.
If you're struggling to sleep, taking a melatonin supplement might help—or it might not. It really depends on the person. The best way to find out is to try it for yourself and see how you feel.
How Long Before I See Results?
If melatonin does work for you, you should start feeling sleepy within 30 minutes to an hour after taking it.
What is the Best Way/Time to Take It?
Most people take melatonin orally in pill form right before they go to bed. You can also find it in gummies, liquids, and dissolvable tablets. Some people prefer gummies because they taste better than pills (although they usually contain added sugar). And some people prefer liquids because they act faster than pills (although they can be messier). There really isn't a "right" way to take melatonin—it all comes down to personal preference. Just like with any other supplement, be sure to follow the directions on the label—and don't take more than the recommended dosage!
Are the Reviews on Amazon True?
As with anything else sold on Amazon, take the reviews with a grain of salt—literally and figuratively! People are more likely to write reviews if they either had a very positive or very negative experience with a product—which means that most of the reviews you'll read will be extreme one way or another. The best way to get an accurate picture of how well something works is to read as many reviews as possible and look for common themes among them.
In the meantime, here are some other articles we've written on the subject for you to check out. Hopefully, they won't put you to sleep (if they do, enjoy the rest!).
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