Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced in the body that helps our circadian rhythm, or the sleep-wake cycle. Also known as the “hormone of darkness”, there are certain parts of the day when it’s high (in the evening) and low (in the morning) - rising levels make us feel sleepy and lower ones keep us alert.
If you’re one to toss and turn at night, your body might be needing more melatonin. While you can get melatonin from certain foods and controlling the amount of light in the room, melatonin supplements are easy to come by too. Melatonin is relatively safe so it’s available over-the-counter in many pharmacies, health and wellbeing shops, and online stores in the US.
This article will walk you through how melatonin works, why and when you should take it, and some power tips for taking it.
Melatonin regulates our body clock’s cycle of sleep and being awake.
Our bodies naturally produce melatonin, a hormone that controls sleep and wake cycle. Melatonin is made in the pineal gland, a pea-sized gland located in the brain behind our eyes.
During the day, the pineal gland is hard at work, making melatonin and storing it away. Under low light levels, the pineal gland releases melatonin, creating a sleepy feeling, which ultimately helps us sleep.
Our blood melatonin levels usually start to rise a couple of hours before we sleep. It’s like preparing us for bedtime and setting up the right conditions for our body to finally rest.
As we sleep, our pineal gland continues to release melatonin until it’s time for us to wake up. Then it goes back to producing and storing melatonin. The cycle continues.
Each of us have different melatonin production levels. How much melatonin our body produces - and whether there’s enough to get us quality sleep - varies based on the following factors:
If you find yourself in bed at night, quietly summoning sleep to no avail, then your body may not be making enough melatonin.
Also, if you’re a night owl (say your bedtime is after 12 midnight) but need to hit the hay at 10 PM, then you need to spike your melatonin levels several hours before bedtime.
This is where supplements enter the picture.
Melatonin plays a critical role in regulating the body clock. Many people use it as sleeping aid - melatonin helps them feel sleepy, gets them better quality sleep, and allows them to sleep longer.
While not as effective as actual medications, melatonin can certainly give you the results that you’re looking for. 
Because melatonin has a lot to do with wake and sleep cycles, the timing for when to take the supplement is critical. According to Very Well Health, when to take melatonin depends on your sleep-wake conditions: 
As a sleeping aid, the standard dosage for melatonin ranges from 1 to 10 milligrams per day. Keep in mind though that there’s no optimal dose indicated among formal studies, but this is the standard prescribed by doctors. 
Make sure that you read instructions very carefully as not all melatonin supplements are the same.
Melatonin is also transferred into breast milk so pregnant women and breastfeeding moms should be careful in taking it. Otherwise, they’ll end up with extremely sleepy babies! 
Melatonin supplements appear to be relatively safe. Studies have looked into the safety of melatonin and none of them have reported serious side effects, nor indicated dependence or withdrawal symptoms upon taking it. [5, 6]
Melatonin has very few side effects. Clinical trials have been done to analyze the potential short-term, low-dose, and up to 3-month usage. Luckily, no adverse effects were noted, though the following are the side effects reported:
And for older adults, studies note the following side effects:
Melatonin is a relatively safe supplement that aids in sleep. While it's naturally produced in the body, found in some foods and regulated through the amount of light in the room, supplements also provide that much-needed spike. Some people suffer from sleeplessness due to different causes and factors, and taking melatonin has been found to be an effective sleeping aid. There are various ways to take it and there are a few - albeit not serious - side effects noted on melatonin intake. But it's a definite go-to for getting better quality sleep!
If you'd like to know more about melatonin, here's a video by Mayo Clinic which talks about how melatonin can help you get that sometimes elusive beauty sleep!
Comments will be approved before showing up.
Urinary Tract Infection is common among women throughout the world. It's caused by many factors, including hygiene, contraceptives, and certain health conditions. Luckily, there are various ways to treat and prevent UTI.
Coffee has been a staple in the everyday life of 64 percent of Americans. It’s not too hard to fathom why this is so – coffee comes with a whole heap of benefits. But when you get used to having one too many cups a day, in fact even more than you’re supposed to, then it becomes a double-edged sword. Coffee can also cause adverse effects like migraines, an upset stomach, and the feeling of being tired. And for some people, drinking coffee is linked to another not-so-pleasant experience – Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). But does coffee really cause UTI?
Discomfort. Restlessness. Helplessness.
3 words that best describe 3 letters - UTI.
If you’ve every experienced Urinary Tract Infection, you’d know what I’m talking about. It could get really uncomfortable that many people try different means to prevent it.
The most popular remedy perhaps is - wait for it - the good old cranberry juice. Word on the street is that it’s great for preventing it. As to why?
It contains an ingredient that is found in beyond the trusty berry. And it can mean the world for those who suffer from UTI.