For some people, getting a good night’s sleep is impossible. Your brain is constantly juggling all the priorities, stressors, and tasks in your life, which can be exhausting and keep you up at night. Lack of quality sleep can make you irritable, unproductive, groggy, and can even affect your hormones, leading to weight gain and muscle loss. Sleep supplements like melatonin are often used intermittently as a way to get better sleep quality. But the question that’s often asked is “Can you take melatonin every night?” It’s not as simple as you might think. We’ll break down the science and current research to see if taking melatonin every night is safe.
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone and powerful antioxidant that induces sleep by aligning with your circadian rhythm, or sleep-wake cycle. Think of melatonin as your internal bedtime reminder. In supplement form, instead of putting you to sleep like other sleep aids, melatonin signals your body to enter a deeper sense of relaxation in preparation for sleep.
Melatonin is safe as a dietary supplement. Unlike many prescription sleeping pills, you’re less likely to develop a dependency and experience waning reactions or hangover effects after repeated use (habituation).
Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced by the pineal gland in the brain. Light suppresses melatonin production, while darkness stimulates it. Those with a balanced and healthy circadian rhythm experience peak production between 2-4 am (R). Melatonin is synthesized from tryptophan, an essential dietary amino acid. Your circadian rhythm is controlled by an endogenous timekeeping system that oscillates in approximately 24-hour periods under constant conditions (R). The master oscillator is located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the anterior hypothalamus of the brain – the most powerful pacemaker being the ambient light-dark cycle. Melatonin is secreted into the blood system and into the cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the spinal cord and brain, and stimulates the suprachiasmatic nucleus, essentially signaling your body to wake up or relax.
When you travel across multiple time zones, you may experience jet lag. Jet lag can feel like a bad hangover, interrupting critical thinking, increasing daytime sleepiness, impairing function, and even causing digestive problems. Jet lag occurs when your body’s internal circadian rhythms get out of sync with a new time zone. Considering your body operates on a 24-hour clock, when you change things up, your master oscillator can be severely disrupted.
Studies show that melatonin can reduce jet lag by synchronizing your body clock with new time zone changes (R). A review published in the Cochrane database identified nine studies that found that taking melatonin at destinations close to target bedtime, at effective doses of 2-5 mg, reduced flights across five or more time zones jet lag caused by (R).
In any given year, nearly 40 million people in the United States are affected by anxiety and depression, and 322 million people worldwide suffer from depression. Research suggests that melatonin may offer potential therapeutic benefits for depressive symptoms and anxiety disorders (R). By achieving a state of calm and relaxation, in addition to sleep quality and sleep duration, sleep latency (time to fall asleep) is also improved.
The most recognized benefit of melatonin is helping you fall asleep by synchronizing your internal clock. Current evidence suggests that melatonin supplementation can help you achieve an optimal sleep cycle and improve sleep latency.
A systematic review published in the journal PLOS One analyzed 19 different studies and found that melatonin reduced sleep latency by an average of 7 minutes and increased overall sleep time (R).
Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is a naturally occurring hormone that is essential for cell growth and regeneration.
A study published in the journal Science Clinical Endocrinology Melatonin was found to increase circulating concentrations of human growth hormone, oxytocin, and vasopressin (right).
Naturally boosts HGH to help increase lean muscle mass, strength, and enhance recovery and athletic performance. Not to mention improving overall quality of life.
according to National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) Melatonin supplements are safe for short-term use by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). However, research on long-term use of melatonin is limited, and more research is needed.
A common recommendation is to supplement with 1-3 grams of melatonin for 30-60 days, followed by a short break. Unlike many prescription sleeping pills, you’re less likely to develop a dependency and experience diminished responses with repeated use. However, no long-term studies have investigated long-term use of melatonin. Melatonin can be a good alternative to over-the-counter or prescription sleeping pills because they can be addictive.
A 126-day randomized controlled trial evaluated the effect of the use of melatonin on sleep parameters in 14 subjects with mild to moderate sleep disturbances. Study participants received either 5 mg per day or a placebo. Results of the study found that melatonin treatment significantly improved sleep quality scores and anxiety, and 9 of 14 people stopped using prescription sleeping pills (R).
Studies have shown that effective melatonin doses for improving sleep quality and sleep duration are between 2-5mg, with 5mg for better and longer sleep.
Clinical studies have shown melatonin supplements to have only mild side effects such as headache, nausea, dizziness, and drowsiness reported in various short-term studies.
Melatonin is safe to use as a dietary supplement. If you experience sleep problems, interruptions, or poor quality sleep, try improving your sleep habits by reducing screen time before bed, wearing blue-light blocking glasses, drinking anxiety-reducing teas, using weight blankets, and most importantly Work with a certified nutrition coach to determine which factors in your diet may be contributing to poor sleep quality. If you continue to experience irregular sleep cycles or poor sleep quality, we recommend that you consult your doctor before adding a high-quality sleep supplement that contains multiple sleep ingredients, such as Swolverine’s ZMT, to relax and improve sleep quality And the effect of improving sleep recovery.
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