Friday, November 25, 2011

Does Melatonin Work for Insomnia? by Paul Stevens

Some mistakenly think that taking a supplement with melatonin for insomnia is akin to taking a sleeping pill. The truth is that is not the case. While a sleeping pill will induce sleep, melatonin will not. Still, some say that there is some success in using melatonin for insomnia.

Melatonin is produced by the body and is thought to help the body know when it is time to sleep and when it is time to rise. The body produces melatonin in the greatest quantities in children. Once puberty hits, the amount that the body produces begin to decrease.

The thinking is that by taking a supplement with melatonin for insomnia that the melatonin will help to regulate the body and help the body begin to shut down when it is time to go to bed.

There have been several studies backing up this claim, and thus melatonin has a reputation of being a sleep aid. Keep in mind that the studies do not show melatonin to be an effective treatment for jet lag.

It is important to note the difference between melatonin and sleeping pills. Melatonin will NOT induce sleep. It will, according to some studies, regulate the body's clock potentially helping users sleep better.

Still, even with some successful studies, not all experts are willing to endorse melatonin as sleep aid. Some say that using melatonin correctly for this purpose is a delicate balance. If you take the supplements in the wrong amounts or at the wrong time, you could do more harm than good when it comes to treating your insomnia.

The experts that do not think melatonin for insomnia is the best idea suggest other methods to regulate your body's clock and help to get your sleep schedule back on track. These ideas include losing weight, changing your diet or making other lifestyle changes.

If you do choose to take melatonin for insomnia, it is a good idea to consult with your doctor first. At the very least, get some advice about how much you should take as well as the best time to take it. As with any type of medication or supplement, there is always the possibility that the user will experience side effects. The possible side effects of taking a supplement with melatonin include drowsiness, headache, cramps and dizziness. If you experience any of these side effects, you should stop taking the melatonin immediately.

While many long for a simple cure, such as melatonin for insomnia, unfortunately, not all of the studies at this point do not back up the claims. Still, because there are some studies that look promising, many find it to be worth a try.

Just be sure to be careful about timing and dosage and report any adverse effects to your doctor immediately.