What is Melatonin?


Do you often have trouble falling asleep? Melatonin can help you fall asleep faster. However, the use of melatonin is not entirely without risk. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about melatonin and how to use it safely.

What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone. This hormone is produced by a gland in your brain. Melatonin plays an indispensable role in regulating your biological clock as it starts to get dark, melatonin production increases. Your body will then be notified that it is time to go to sleep. The hormone makes you sleepy and helps you fall asleep faster. By the morning, the production of melatonin decreases again, so you wake up.

Is Melatonin Bad For You?

Many people assume that the use of melatonin is safe, because melatonin is a body’s own hormone and because melatonin is available as a supplement without a prescription. However, the use of melatonin is not entirely without risk. Misuse of melatonin can cause your biological clock to be disrupted. Doctors and experts, therefore, warn against taking melatonin on your own. So always consult your doctor before deciding to use melatonin.

Pay attention: At a recommended daily dose of 0.3 mg or more, melatonin is a medicine. Only use this medicine if you are well informed and always read the package leaflet before use.

When Do You Use Melatonin?

Do you often stare at the ceiling at night? Poor sleep can have many causes. Melatonin use is only helpful if a disrupted biological clock is the cause of your sleep problems. Your biological clock can be disrupted if:

  • You work at night and sleep during the day.
  • You suffer from jet lag.

In these cases, melatonin can offer a solution. If you’re lying awake for any reason other than a disrupted biological clock, then using melatonin simply makes no sense. Therefore, always consult your doctor before you decide to use sleeping pills. Together you can identify the exact cause of your sleeping problem and find a solution.

Sleep during the day and work at night

People are naturally used to being awake during the day and sleeping at night. This has to do with the fact that it is light during the day and dark at night. Melatonin production is dormant during the day and only starts when it starts to get dark. This makes it difficult to sleep during the day. Melatonin can provide a solution in this case.

Melatonin and jet lag

Jet lag occurs when you bridge one or more time zones. Your biological clock can get quite confused. It usually takes a few days before you get used to a different rhythm. Until then, melatonin can help ease jet lag.

Does melatonin help you sleep through?

No. Melatonin helps you fall asleep faster but does not make you sleep through the night. Do you fall asleep easily, but do you often wake up at night? Then taking melatonin makes no sense, even when you wake up in the middle of the night.

What Is The Correct Dose Of Melatonin?

A dose of melatonin that is too low has no effect, but a dose that is too high can be counterproductive. If your body processes melatonin slowly, you may also have melatonin in your body in the morning, which will destroy your biological clock from its apropos and disrupt your own melatonin production. The correct dosage differs per person. Therefore, always consult your doctor before using melatonin. Your doctor can determine the correct dose based on a saliva test.

Can you overdose on melatonin?

Melatonin overdose is difficult to determine. There is no standard dosage that is safe for everyone. Everybody reacts differently to this hormone. Have you taken a high dose of melatonin, and are you experiencing side effects? Then consult your doctor.

When Should I Take Melatonin?

Taking melatonin just before going to bed does not work. It takes time to work in. The doctor can investigate the ideal time for you to take melatonin. This is usually a few hours before your own body starts producing melatonin.

What Is Modified-Release Melatonin?

Melatonin is available with or without a controlled release. With the controlled release, a little melatonin is always released during the night (or day), so that the substance works longer. Modified-release melatonin is prescribed, among other things, if you:

  • Are over 55 years old and have difficulty falling and staying asleep
  • Asleep too late and waking up in the morning with difficulty
  • Fall asleep too early and wake up too early in the morning