Melatonin supplement is a synthetic drug taken for relieving insomnia, sleep disorders, and jet lags. It causes the consumer to fall into a deep sleep. Moreover, it reduces the number of times he or she wakes up during the night.
Normally our body produces melatonin to help our daily sleep-wake cycle and patterns. Due to a number of reasons, this production is slowed down, causing a lack of sleep. Decreased melatonin production can lead to exhaustion and tiredness throughout the day. Also, your immune system is weakened due to lack of sleep. Usually, hyperactive children do not want to sleep. Therefore, oral melatonin such as melatonin gummies for kids can help induce sleep, relieving you of all the troubles lack of sleep brings.
However, some melatonin supplements were found to constitute harmful additives. Before buying melatonin supplements, you must check with the pharmacist. Read the labels and buy only FDA-approved products. Also, consult your doctor for a prescription for oral melatonin.
How to Use Oral Melatonin
Melatonin tablets are usually consumed before bedtime with or without food. It is important to follow the package directions so as to avoid an overdose. Moreover, make sure you have a minimum of six to eight hours available for sleep before you take oral melatonin.
Oral Melatonin Dosage
Oral melatonin dosage depends upon your medical condition, age, gender, medical history, etc. Extended-release tablets cannot be chewed or crushed, or they would lose all of their melatonin. They shouldn’t even be split from the middle unless you are advised to do so by your doctor, and they have a score line across the middle.
Chewable, oral melatonin should be chewed thoroughly and then swallowed. Oral melatonin in liquid form should be measured accurately using a measuring spoon. A household spoon might accidentally give you the wrong dosage resulting in side effects. Also, shake liquid melatonin well before use.
Besides the above-mentioned forms, oral melatonin is also available in rapid-dissolving tablet form. This rapidly dissolving tablet can be placed on or under the tongue. Each brand has a separate method. You should follow the direction given on your brand’s packaging. The rapidly dissolving tablet shouldn’t be taken with water.
Oral melatonin starts functioning in thirty minutes. If it doesn’t start to take effect, you may have a serious medical issue. Worsening conditions should be given immediate medical attention.
Side Effects of Oral Melatonin
Generally, oral melatonin can be taken for up to 2 years safely. However, prolonged usage may cause side effects, although they are unlikely to occur. They are
- Day time sleepiness
- Abdominal cramps
- Short term feeling of depression
- Mental mood change
If you experience any of the above side effects, consult your physician.
It is rare that you experience any severe allergic reaction from oral melatonin. However, if in exceptional cases they do occur, consult a doctor immediately as it should be considered a medical emergency.
Precautions before taking oral melatonin
Let your physician know about any allergies that you have before he prescribes oral melatonin to you.
Avoid driving, operating machinery, or doing anything that requires you to be alert after taking oral melatonin. If you drink, smoke, or use cannabis, talk to your doctor beforehand.
Be cautious before taking liquid melatonin if you have diabetes. It may contain sugar. Also, during pregnancy, use it only when prescribed. Oral melatonin also passes into breast milk during the lactation period. Therefore consultation with your doctor is a must.
Interaction of Oral Melatonin with medication
For avoiding possible drug interactions, do not stop or take any medicine without your doctor’s advice. The drugs that may interact with oral melatonin and affect its function are:
- Blood thinners like heparin, warfarin, etc
- Products containing caffeine like tea, coffee, sodas, etc
- Immune system affecting drugs like cyclosporine, prednisone, etc
- Cough relievers such as hydrocodone, codeine, etc
- Cannabis, alcohol
- Muscle relaxant such as carisoprodol, cyclobenzaprine, etc
How effective is Oral Melatonin
The oral melatonin tablets are prepared in a lab for the treatment of insomnia, jet lag, sleep disorders, etc. Although effective at first, your body might experience diminished response after prolonged consumption of oral melatonin.
Research reveals that there is a reduction in the time needed to fall asleep and a reduction in the amount of time you awake at night by the consumption of oral melatonin. However, a certified physician or nutritionist should be consulted before giving it to the patients. Oral melatonin is effective on the following medical conditions:
Relief in Insomnia
Oral melatonin provides relief in insomnia which is a condition where the patient experiences inability to fall asleep. Oral melatonin improves your sleep time and makes it deeper and more restorative. However, you might experience vivid dreams.
Oral melatonin is very effective during jet lag. It brings your body back to its natural sleep-wake pattern.
Shift Work Disorder
People with shift work can take melatonin to improve the quality of their sleep during the day. It is ideal for people working outside the typical morning to evening jobs.
Sleep-wake cycle disturbances in children
Oral melatonin can help in relieving the disturbance of the sleep-wake cycle in kids. However, caution should be taken not to overdose as children are highly sensitive and responsive to it.
Improving cognitive impairment in Alzheimer’s
Oral melatonin also helps to improve the cognitive impairment in Alzheimer’s disease. It acts as a therapeutic agent for impairing cognitive issues in mild Alzheimers. Also, it prevents cell damage associated with ALS.