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When to Use Melatonin Supplements for Sleep

Taking melatonin, a natural hormone that regulates the human biological clock, can seem like a foolproof ticket to dreamland: it isn’t physically addictive, and, according to Time, some claim it doesn’t cause foggy hangovers like sleeping pills. But is it a sensible long-term solution to sleep woes? Not really, says Chris Winter, MD, medical director of the Martha Jefferson Hospital Sleep Medicine Center. While it can help you sleep through a bout of jet lag or insomnia, over the long term, it could cause problems. Dr. Winter explains that when night falls, your brain naturally produces melatonin, signaling to your body that it’s time to sleep. But when you take a melatonin supplement, your body may start producing melatonin at that time instead of your body's natural time (which may be different), thus throwing off your internal clock. He also warns that melatonin supplements could be psychologically addictive—you may begin to feel you need them to sleep. When all is said and done, it could be best to save these supplements for unusual occasions of unrest and to establish long-term routines that signal to your body that it’s time to sleep, such as creating a quiet environment at night and turning off the TV well before bedtime.

Source: Time

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The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2021.