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Published By: K.D Cameron
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What is Melatonin?
 
Melatonin is secreted in the brain by the pineal gland when darkness falls in order to induce sleep and it is a neurohormone that is suppressed by light exposure. Supplementation is seen as a way to increase levels before going to bed.
 

When should a person take melatonin?

 
The best time to supplement melatonin is within 30 min to 60 min before going to bed on an empty stomach. Intake at any other time of the day may lead to experiencing drowsiness and disruption of the circadian/biological rhythm of the body.
 

Is what conditions is melatonin contra-indicated?

 
Healthy individuals with no established chronic diseases can take melatonin without consultation with a medical professional if they experience light or moderate sleep problems. In situations when a person is diagnosed with a specifically defined medical issue, only a trained physician can give recommendations regarding supplementation with melatonin.
 

What is the recommended supplemental dose?

 

The different supplemental doses can vary between 3 mg and 10 mg per day and the specific recommendation depends on the individual and his/her sleep issues – males, smokers, people with overweight, and older individuals can benefit more from supplementing with higher doses. Conversely, females, non-smokers, younger people, and users with normal weight should start supplementing with the lower dose (3 mg).
 

Is melatonin harmful to pregnant woman?

 
There are not enough research studies with melatonin supplements in pregnant women. The available data up to now does not suggest any harms when pregnant women supplement with melatonin. However, as a general rule of thumb with most food supplements, it best for pregnant women to consult with their physician before taking any type of supplements including melatonin.
 

Are there any side effects?

 
A possible side effect from taking melatonin is experiencing drowsiness and sleepiness during the day when the supplement is not taken before going to bed but at another time.
 

Is melatonin supplementation incompatible with taking prescription medication?

 
The most reasonable approach is to avoid taking melatonin if a person takes medicine for improving his/her sleep or any type of prescription medication for inducing sleep or treating sleep disorders. Only a certified medical professional can give advice regarding combining medication with food supplements.
 

What types or adverse reactions can melatonin cause?

 
Here are no unwanted or adverse reactions when taking melatonin that can be viewed as problematic. People can safely supplement the hormone for improving their general health or their sleep specifically.
 

How should melatonin be supplemented?

 
On an empty stomach, 30 min before going to bed.
 

How should melatonin be stored?

 
Melatonin products should be stored at room temperature away from the reach of children.
 

Are the effects of melatonin influenced by other food supplements or medications?

 
Combining melatonin with other food supplements that possess antioxidant activities (like vitamin C) is recommended as this results in increasing the antioxidant defenses of the body. In addition, combining melatonin with supplements like magnesium and valerian root can improve the sleep quality of the user.
 

How long can one supplement with melatonin?

 
Long-term intake of melatonin up to 12 months has not been found to result in adverse effects or unpleasant reactions. As with most supplements, the most reasonable course of action is to take melatonin in cycles – after a period of supplementation the user is advised to take a couple of months off before starting a new supplementation period. Long-term intake of melatonin in doses of 3 mg per day is safe and effective.
 

Is the long-term intake of melatonin supplements associated with addiction?

 
Melatonin supplementation does not reduce the body’s natural production of the hormone and it is non-toxic and non-addictive.
 

Are there any consequences of melatonin overdose?

 
There are no records of serious adverse reaction or consequences for a person’s health with mega doses of melatonin. In some human experiments, there are no adverse reactions even at doses of 100 mg per day.
 
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