Insomnia is one of the most common conditions experienced by the adult population of Canada. Some people experience temporary trouble sleeping, while others suffer from the long-term problem. Due to various reasons, not only adults but also teenagers are rather sleep-deprived. It was estimated that more than half of adolescents and up to 75% of high school students get fewer sleep hours than they should.
One of the easiest solutions to this problem is taking supplements that were specially designed to increase your sleep time. People often reach out for Melatonin as being an effective remedy to help one sleep through the night. It’s an over-the-counter medicine that can be easily obtained in medical stores, supermarkets, and online.
Melatonin – what do we know about this supplement?
In different cases, melatonin is referred to as either a drug or a food supplement. In Canada, it was approved as a natural health product. The human brain produces melatonin as a hormonal substance that signals your body that it’s time to sleep at night.
It acts like a messenger to tell your body that it’s time to relax and restore the required energy levels. Simply put, the purpose of melatonin is to promote a healthy sleep cycle and ensure that a person sleeps through the night without waking up.
As a supplement, melatonin is produced in a laboratory and can be consumed orally in the form of drops or tablets. There are also gummies for children. They can be bought in most drug stores throughout the country. You can also obtain all the options (from 1mg to 5mg tablets) through the Canadian pharmacy and similar services. Apart from taking melatonin for a sleep disorder, people reach out for this health product before and after traveling by air to combat jet lag.
Things you should know before consuming melatonin supplements
Although you can easily order melatonin online or buy it in a local medical store, it’s recommended to consult a health care specialist before starting a course. Many people think that a natural health product can’t be harmful by default, but this is not so. An overdose is never a good idea, and certain food products shouldn’t be combined with melatonin. Besides, in certain health conditions, doctors recommend replacing melatonin with other over-the-counter supplements.
Staying on the safe side: an acceptable dosage of melatonin
There is a number of factors that should be taken into account when taking this supplement. In most cases, patients go for a three-milligram tablet, but there are different options available on the market, ranging from one to twelve milligrams. According to research, people don’t suffer from any side effects when taking 3mg tablets in the long run. However, in the early stages of your treatment, you may feel a bit dizzy and drowsy. You may also feel like vomiting and suffer from headaches.
How safe is it to take melatonin over a short period?
According to research, there is no danger in undergoing melatonin treatment over a short period of time. However, health practitioners across the globe have conflicting opinions on the subject. Some of them find it difficult to define what period should be considered short-term when it comes to taking melatonin to improve one’s sleep patterns.
In any case, if you’re going to take melatonin for the first time, it’s strongly advised to check in with your doctor. When people suffer from lack of sleep, it’s important to make sure there aren’t other medical conditions causing a disrupted sleep cycle.
Things to be aware of when taking melatonin supplements long term
So far, there was no cause for concern for people who take melatonin pills over a long period. However, health care specialists believe that information on the subject is not sufficient yet to make any conclusions. In any case, it’s advised to be alert and consult a doctor in case of sudden or gradual changes in your health. If a doctor believes your health issues are directly caused by taking melatonin tablets over a significant period, you’d better stop using them and look for an alternative product.
In any case, most people don’t experience any issues when taking this product every night. Nonetheless, if you take sleep aids every night, you should make sure to take a recommended dose. Higher doses of this product don’t ensure a better sleep cycle. On the contrary, overdosing on melatonin supplements long-term results in adverse side effects. Some of them include:
- Feeling lifeless and sleepy throughout the day;
- Suffering from headaches or cramp-like pain in the abdomen;
- Feeling irritable, anxious, or even depressed without any reason;
- Developing low blood pressure;
- Experiencing issues with digestion, feeling nauseous.
Apart from this, children who take an increased dosage of melatonin over a long period of time may develop involuntary bedwetting habits.
To be on the safe side, avoid taking this medication long-term in case you’re expecting a baby, planning your pregnancy, or breastfeeding. Also, if you suffer from kidney stones, chronic kidney disease, jaundice, seizures, or autoimmune disorder, it’s strongly advised to discuss the melatonin intake with a trustworthy and competent healthcare provider.
How safe is it to take a repeated dose on a regular basis?
A person may be tempted to take one more pill if the first dose doesn’t help. Some people end up doing it regularly. Although it’s unlikely to damage one’s health, it may increase the risk of suffering from various adverse effects.
If you don’t find melatonin helpful and it’s still challenging for you to fall asleep after long-term treatment, it’s recommended to stop using it. Your healthcare provider may offer you an alternative product or another kind of sleep aid strategy.
Substances to avoid if you take melatonin pills long term
Melatonin tablets are known to interact with other medications, and it’s actually a cause for concern. Before starting a course, it’s recommended to consult a doctor on whether your regular medications and melatonin pills are compatible. In any case, you will likely be advised to refrain from consuming melatonin-based substances if you take:
- Blood thinners;
- Anti-seizure medications;
- Immunosuppressive agents;
- Birth control pills;
- Hypertension and hypotension drugs;
- Diabetes medications.
These are some of the facts that you should consider when reaching for melatonin to improve your sleep patterns. You deserve the sleep time your body requires, and if you can’t get it naturally, there is nothing wrong with reaching out for help.