Last Updated on Jul 19, 2022
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When it is dark outside, our body produces a hormone called melatonin. Melatonin makes us feel sleepy. However, as the sun rises, melatonin production slows down, making us feel more alert.
People suffering from sleeping disorders take melatonin supplements to sleep well during the night.
Melatonin supplements are also used by night-shift workers and those who suffer from jet lag. But, nobody knows how long the melatonin lasts in your body.
How to use melatonin, does melatonin help with anxiety, how much melatonin to take for sleep, when should you take melatonin, how to take melatonin? Don’t worry; in this article, we will answer this troubling question.
Our body produces a hormone, melatonin when it’s dark outside. Melatonin makes us feel tired and sleepy. But as the sun rises, the hormone production lowers, and we feel more active and alert.
You must be wondering, What does melatonin do? What is melatonin used for?
Situations in which people use melatonin:
One of the best benefits of melatonin is sleepiness. Your body naturally produces melatonin and causes drowsiness. Though, taking supplements can boost your melatonin production and help you get the sleep you require.
We often think of melatonin for adults, whereas kids can also consume melatonin under a doctor’s recommendation.
When our internal clock sends the proper work signal, our brain’s pineal gland converts serotonin into melatonin. High levels of melatonin lower our body’s blood pressure and temperature, which makes us feel sleepy.
When your body senses nighttime, eventually, our eyes absorb less light than usual. This is why if you keep the lights on in your bedroom or use electronic devices, your body will find it challenging to produce melatonin, and hence you will not be able to sleep.
Usually, melatonin begins to kick in between 20 minutes and 2 hours after consumption. This is why it is advised to take melatonin 2 hours before bedtime.
Natural melatonin production increases 2 hours before bedtime. Sleeping at the same time consistently signals your body when it’s time for melatonin production.
There is no fixed answer to how long does it take for melatonin to work. It’s different for different people.
There are two kinds of melatonin pills; regular and extended-release pills. Regular pills instantly release melatonin into your body. However, extended-release pills or slow-release pills gradually release melatonin into your body.
The latter one is similar to the natural melatonin production in your body. It helps keep you asleep throughout the night.
A doctor can suggest what is best for you, regular or extended-release pills.
The ideal time to take melatonin is different for everyone. Generally, it is suggested to consume melatonin 20-30 minutes before bedtime.
Start taking melatonin 30 minutes before sleeping. Gradually, change the amount according to your requirements. Make sure you don’t take melatonin at or after your bedtime to avoid daytime sleepiness.
Melatonin does not stay in your body for a long time. Usually, it stays in your body for about 5 hours. But this depends on whether you have taken slow-release melatonin or not. If you have, then these timelines may not apply to you.
During this period, you may feel drowsiness. Avoid driving, making decisions, or using heavy machinery during this period.
Drugs work differently for different people. It mainly depends on several factors like:
If you take melatonin on time, you may not feel drowsy the next day.
It depends on the amount of melatonin you consume. Generally, melatonin takes between 4 to 8 hours to wear off so the best time to take melatonin is a few hours before bed.
Start with taking small amounts of melatonin. It will wear off soon and will not cause you any significant side effects.
Generally, melatonin is safe to consume. Mainly, it causes sleepiness, but this is why we consume melatonin.
Common side effects of melatonin are:
Other Melatonin Side effects:
You are more prone to experience these symptoms if you consume too much melatonin.
Avoid consuming melatonin if you:
We suggest you talk to your doctor before you start taking melatonin. They will advise you if you need to take any precautions.
It’s okay to take melatonin. Melatonin does not have any significant harmful effects. Experiment with the dosage, and learn what is best for you. Consult your doctor if you are taking other medications as well.