Melatonin supplement information

What is melatonin?

According to the National Institute of health,

“Melatonin is a natural hormone that plays a role in sleep.

Melatonin production and release in the brain is related to the time of day, rising in the evening and falling in the morning.

Light at night blocks its production.

Sleep problems and melatonin supplements

According to the NIH,

“Current research suggests that melatonin  may be useful in treating several sleep disorders, such as

jet lag,

sleep problems related to shift work.”

Guidelines from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommend the use of melatonin supplements to promote daytime sleep among night shift workers and travelers across multiple time zones.

Anxiety and melatonin Supplements

“Melatonin  has been studied as a possible alternative to conventional anxiety-reducing drugs for patients who are about to have surgery, and the results have been promising.” NIH

Who should not use melatonin supplements?

According to the National Institute of Health,

Melatonin, a hormone used as a sleep aid, may alter the levels of other hormones in young children and should not be used by children with certain medical conditions such as hormonal disorders, diabetes, liver or kidney disease, cerebral palsy, seizure disorders, migraine, depression, and hypertension.”

Sleep and autism

“Melatonin may help with sleep problems in children with ASD. A 2011 review of the scientific literature found that melatonin increased total sleep duration by an average of 73 minutes and decreased sleep latency by an average of 66 minutes. Similar beneficial results were observed when melatonin was compared with placebo.” NIH

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and melatonin

“Melatonin has not been shown to relieve ADHD symptoms, but it may help children with ADHD who have sleep problems to fall asleep sooner.”

Side effects of melatonin supplements

Side effects of melatonin are uncommon but can include drowsiness, headache, dizziness, or nausea.

There have been no reports of significant side effects of melatonin in children.

“Melatonin appears to be safe when used short-term, but the lack of long-term studies means we don’t know if it’s safe for extended use.” NIH

Melatonin Supplements

A recent study published in the American Academy of Sleep Medicine showed that melatonin supplements vary.

Results show that melatonin content did not meet within a 10-percent margin of the label claim in more than 71 percent of supplements, with the actual content ranging from 83 percent less to 478 percent more than the concentration declared on the label. The study also found that lot-to-lot variability within a particular product varied by as much as 465 percent.

How were the melatonin supplements studied?

 31 supplements were analyzed by ultraperformance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection.

What else was found in the melatonin supplements?

“Further analysis with mass spectrometry also found serotonin, a much more strictly controlled substance, in 26 percent of the tested supplements. According to the authors, the presence of unlabeled but significant quantities of serotonin could lead to serious side effects.”

A recent article in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine recommended that

“We suggest that clinicians not use melatonin as a treatment for sleep onset or sleep maintenance insomnia (versus no treatment) in adults.” because there is weak evidence to supports its use in this group of people.

FDA premarket approval of melatonin

Because melatonin is classified as a dietary supplement it does not require premarket approval from the FDA.

What can you do to help ensure you are getting the correct amount of melatonin?

“U.S. consumers should look for the “USP Verified” mark, which indicates that the formulation meets the requirements of the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention.”

See other posts on why I think supplements should have stronger regulations.

See other posts on tips for better sleeping.

Do you use melatonin supplements?

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