If you have a sleep disorder, then you can use various tactics and medications to get a better night's sleep. For example, some people benefit from taking melatonin supplements. What is melatonin and how does it help people with sleep disorders? Is this the best option for your problem?
What Is Melatonin?
Your body naturally produces melatonin. This hormone helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle. It should make you sleepy and awake at the right times.
For example, your body produces more melatonin at night when it gets dark. These levels should make you tired enough to sleep. During the night, your levels stay high to keep you asleep. They then decrease in the morning to wake you up and keep you feeling alert for the rest of the day.
How Can Melatonin Cure Sleep Disorders?
Sleep doctors and clinics sometimes prescribe melatonin supplements to people with certain sleep disorders. Typically, these supplements help people who have problems with the regular sleep-wake cycle.
Here, adding some melatonin to your body helps make you more tired at night. It helps you fall asleep at a good time and stay asleep until you should be awake in the morning. The supplement helps your naturally-produced hormone levels to work more effectively.
Can Melatonin Help You Sleep Better?
While melatonin supplements work well for some sleep disorders, they aren't the right solution for every problem. For example, supplements aren't likely to help people who have general insomnia that lasts through the night.
This treatment is best used for people who have problems with their body clock and how it affects their ability to sleep. For example, shift workers often find it hard to fall asleep when they need to. Their bodies don't necessarily produce enough melatonin at irregular sleep times.
Melatonin supplements also help people who have a delayed sleep-wake cycle. For example, this treatment might be effective if you find it hard to fall asleep at night and then hard to stay awake during the day because you haven't had enough sleep. Here, the supplement would encourage your brain into and out of the sleep cycle at more appropriate times.
You shouldn't take melatonin supplements without consulting a doctor. Like any supplement, melatonin can have some side effects. If you have trouble sleeping, then your first step should be to book a consultation at a sleep medicine clinic. They can assess your problem and work out if melatonin is the right solution. If not, they can find other ways to fix your sleep disorder.
For more information on sleep medicine, contact a doctor near you.