Melatonin is a hormone that plays a key role in regulating the body's sleep-wake cycle. It is naturally produced by the body, but can also be taken as a supplement to help promote sleep. Melatonin supplements are commonly used as a natural sleep medicine and are available over the counter.
Melatonin is generally considered safe when used in recommended dosages, however, there are certain groups of people who should not take melatonin or should use it with caution. These include children, pregnant or breastfeeding women, those taking blood thinning medication, and those with sleep disorders, depression, bipolar disorder, or autoimmune conditions.
In general, the suggested starting dosage for adults is between 0.5 and 1 milligram (mg) taken 30 minutes before bedtime for those with trouble falling asleep. Some studies have used higher doses, up to 3 mg, but it's best to start with a lower dose and gradually increase it if needed.
Melatonin for sleep usually starts to work within 30 minutes to an hour after it is taken. The exact time it takes for melatonin to kick in can vary depending on the individual and the dosage.
The length of time that melatonin will make you sleep can vary depending on the individual and the dosage. Typically, the effects of melatonin last for about 5-8 hours, which is the normal duration of the sleep cycle. However, some people may find that this nighttime sleep aid helps them stay asleep for longer periods of time, while others may find that it only helps them fall asleep. If you struggle with sleep problems or are concerned with your overall sleep quality, we recommend you consult with a doctor before taking melatonin for sleep.
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