Melatonin

Melatonin

Melatonin
Melatonin is an herbal remedy for a variety of conditions, but most commonly for insomnia and other sleep disorders due to jet lag or shift-work disorder. This natural hormone starts to decline in production as you grow older and as a dietary supplement can be used to regulate your internal body clock and act as a sleep aid. As with any herbal supplements please consult your health provider for treatment, correct dosage, benefits and risk factors.

Recently Answered

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    A , Psychology, answered
    A study analyzed reams of data on the efficacy and safety of melatonin for treating insomnia in children with ADHD and the authors indicate it can be a safe and helpful way to improve the falling-asleep process for these young insomniacs. Here is what they found:

    • Melatonin is a hormone your body produces to help it regulate your sleep-wake cycles; it usually starts pumping out of your pineal gland after it has become dark outside and your body prepares for bedtime. When melatonin levels in the blood rise, you begin to feel less alert and sleep becomes more inviting.

    • Children with ADHD usually have trouble falling asleep, which can have tremendous consequences to both their health and family life. Less sleep means a less-than-optimal refreshment of the brain and body during the night.

    • Giving 3 to 6 mg of melatonin within a few hours of bedtime has been shown to help kids with ADHD overcome some of their insomnia and improve their sleep. “Kids” in most cases reviewed in the study meant 6 to 14 years of age.

    While this research is very important in our understanding of ADHD and sleep, I would not consider placing a child on melatonin without working with both a sleep specialist and the child’s pediatrician.
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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    Avoid taking melatonin in these circumstances:
    • If you can’t sleep because of issues like stress, depression, or anxiety. Melatonin may not work in those cases because the problem doesn’t lie with the body’s ability to make its own melatonin. You may benefit from practicing progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) to calm your body and distract your brain.
    • If you have already taken melatonin earlier that evening. Because it is so powerful, too much melatonin may actually disrupt your sleeping pattern, which may lead to your waking up in the middle of the night. Some people complain of a “melatonin hangover,” which may lead to them feeling even more groggy and unrested! This happens because any residual melatonin in your system in the morning will make your body think it’s still nighttime -- and it will be even harder to wake up.
    • If you find yourself needing more than 1 mg at night to fall asleep. You may be taking too high of a dose, and you'll put yourself at risk of disrupting your sleep cycle. If 1 mg of melatonin isn’t enough, your body may be telling you to add other methods to help your sleep.
    • If you’ve been taking melatonin for longer than two weeks. This may be a sign that your body’s sleep issues come from another problem, like stress or depression, that must be addressed differently.

    This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com
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    A , Psychology, answered
    Dr. Michael Breus - What should I know before using melatonin supplements?
    If you're a chronic tosser-and-turner, melatonin may be the answer to your sleep issues. Get all the need-to-know facts about melatonin by watching this video featuring sleep specialist Dr. Michael Breus.
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    A answered
    Based on information from iGuard.org, a free medication monitoring service, 3% of patients experience side effects while taking Melatonin. Some of the side effects reported by iGuard members include grogginess/confusion. Please follow up with your doctor or other healthcare provider if you are experiencing any symptoms that worsen or do not go away.
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    A , Pharmacy, answered

    Certain medications may increase your risk for complications associated with melatonin. Many common drugs have the potential of interacting with melatonin. Before taking this or any other medication, talk to your doctor about possible interactions associated with your dosage of melatonin.

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    A , Psychology, answered
    Dr. Michael Breus - Are there any regulations for the use of melatonin?
    Sleep problems are frustrating, but should be handled wisely. In this video, sleep specialist Dr. Michael Breus discusses safe uses for melatonin.
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    A answered

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not strictly regulate herbs and supplements like melatonin There is no guarantee of strength, purity or safety of products, and effects may vary. A maximum safe dose has not been determined. Better research is needed in this area. You should read product labels, and discuss doses with your doctor or other healthcare provider.

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    A , Pharmacy, answered

    As a supplement, melatonin has been used to treat insomnia; to aid in withdrawal from the use of benzodiazepines (drugs commonly used as relaxants or sedatives like Valium and Xanax); and to improve sleep in children with ADHD.

    Melatonin has been shown effective in treating people who have altered circadian rhythms (like people with jet lag or who work night shifts) or who suffer from disrupted sleep (like older people and schizophrenics). For menopause, melatonin may help with associated sleep problems, but it does not relieve other menopause symptoms. For both breast and prostate cancer, melatonin may help in the treatment of those cancers. Melatonin may help improve the sleep quality of people who are withdrawing from benzodiazepines. It also may help improve sleep in children with ADHD.

    Sometimes it is used to treat sunburn, irritable bowel syndrome, and epilepsy. For sunburn, melatonin may be used as a topical ointment, gel, or lotion to prevent skin damage. When used for irritable bowel syndrome, this supplement may help relieve abdominal pain and other symptoms of this condition. Some studies have shown that melatonin might reduce seizure frequency in children who have epilepsy.

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    A , Psychology, answered
    Dr. Michael Breus - What are the risks of taking melatonin?
    Like most supplements, taking melatonin -- which can help with sleep problems -- has its risks. In this video, sleep specialist Dr. Michael Breus shares the signs to look for if your melatonin use is causing issues.
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    A answered

    Taking Melatonin have not reported effects on causing or darkening brown spots on the face.  Because it is not approved by the FDA, it has not undergone controlled studies to fully examine side effects.