Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone found in the body that helps users to sleep better. It’s also called the “sleep hormone” because of its calming and sedating effects. Melatonin is also found in a variety of health supplements. Just take a walk down the vitamin aisle of your local grocery store, and you will find everything from melatonin flavored teas and mouth sprays to melatonin gummies.
In 2016, the Nutrition Business Journal published a report stating that the expected more than $437 million to be spent on melatonin supplements by U.S. consumers in 2017. More than three million adults and half a million children take it, and these numbers are expected to increase as more sleep-deprived families look for cheap “natural” remedies.
Melatonin is frequently consumed to alleviate difficulty falling or staying asleep (insomnia), and there’s a strong body of evidence to support its use as a sleep aid. It’s believed to be safe and effective for long-term use with fewer side effects than commonly prescribed sleeping pills.
In the United States, melatonin is an over-the-counter supplement that can typically be found near the vitamins and supplements. Let’s take a closer look at everything you need to know about melatonin gummies.
What Are Melatonin Gummies?
As we’ve already discussed, melatonin is a home that is made naturally by the body. It’s produced by the pineal gland in the brain, but it’s also found in other areas, like the eyes, gut, and bone marrow.
It’s often referred to as a “sleep hormone” because high levels can help you to fall asleep. However, melatonin itself won’t knock you out. It works by letting your body know that it’s night-time so that you will relax and fall asleep easier. Essentially, it works to put you in a state of quiet wakefulness.
Melatonin levels in the body rise when it gets dark outside, which is basically the body telling you that it’s time to get ready for bed. Some people have lower levels of melatonin, which may be due to anxiety, stress, blue light, and aging, among other things. A melatonin supplement can boost the natural levels, which allows your body to prepare for sleep better in a natural way.
Taken at the right time, and in the right dose, melatonin can indeed repair a sleep schedule that has been thrown off by jet lag, a long weekend filled with late nights, or certain circadian rhythm disorders.
Melatonin is typically available as a supplement in the form of a pill. But, it’s also available in the form of mouth sprays, liquids, chewables and, of course, gummies. Melatonin gummies are exactly what they sound like – gummy chews that are infused with melatonin.
Melatonin gummies are typically more tasty and fun to take than a regular pill. They’re also great for dosing because each gummy will contain a standard amount of melatonin, which means that you will know exactly how much you are consuming.
How Much Melatonin Should You Take?
Even though melatonin is produced naturally by the body, you still need to use it with care. Too little melatonin won’t produce the desired sedating effects, but too much may cause unwanted effects. For example, it could interfere even more with your sleep cycle.
Some researchers believe that it might not be so much the dose, but the timing of administration that affects its efficacy. A typical starting dose of melatonin should range from 0.2 to 5 mg. This range is broad, so it’s best to start off with a low dose and gradually increase it until you feel the desired effects.
Generally, the standard dose of melatonin for adults is between 0.3 to 10 mg. The trick is to find the lowest effective dose – it will require a bit of trial and error. Remember, a surplus won’t help you to sleep better.
But keep in mind that the exact dose of melatonin that you should take may vary according to age, weight, and how you respond to supplements or medication.
Typically, melatonin gummies are sold in packs of a few single gummies. Each gummy will contain a specified amount of melatonin. Or, the total melatonin per pack will be stated – you can just divide by the number of gummies in the pack to determine how much is in each gummy.
Is Melatonin Addictive?
Just because something is “natural,” it doesn’t make it automatically “safe.” However, there are no reports of melatonin being addictive.
Melatonin doesn’t cause symptoms of dependence or withdrawal, unlike other sleep medications. It also won’t cause a sleep “hangover,” and you aren’t at risk of building up a tolerance to it. This means that it won’t cause you to need more and more as time goes on – this is the hallmark of addiction.
By all accounts, current evidence suggests that melatonin supplements are non-toxic, safe, and not addictive.
Other Health Benefits of Melatonin Gummies
Melatonin is not only touted for its sleep-inducing benefits. Hundreds of studies have shown that melatonin is helpful in a wide population of benefits, including adults, children, those with chronic conditions, and the elderly. Here are a few of the other health benefits associated with melatonin gummies:
- Support Eye Health: Healthy levels of melatonin may support eye health. This is because it has powerful antioxidant effects that can help to lower the risk of eye diseases, like age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
- Treatment of Stomach Ulcers and Heartburn: The antioxidant properties may also help to alleviate heartburn and treat stomach ulcers.
- Reduce Symptoms of Tinnitus: Tinnitus is a condition that is characterized by constant ringing in the ears. Interestingly, melatonin may reduce these symptoms and therefore help with sleep.
- May Help with Seasonal Depression: Seasonal depression affects up to 20% of adults in the U.S. By helping with sleep cycles, melatonin could help to reduce the symptoms of seasonal depression.
Potential Side Effects of Melatonin
While melatonin is generally considered to be safe to consume, there is the possibility of experiencing a few side effects.
Although uncommon, headaches, drowsiness, nausea, and dizziness are all possible side effects. Melatonin may also interact with various medications. These include blood pressure medication, blood thinners, and antidepressants.
Taken appropriately, side effects are usually infrequent, but just like with many other supplements and medication, they can occur. If you do take melatonin and notice side effects, it’s important to talk to your doctor. They may recommend a different dosage or an alternative.
Final Thoughts on Melatonin Gummies
Melatonin is an effective supplement that can help users to fall asleep, especially if you have jet lag or insomnia. It may also have some other health benefits. Melatonin gummies are by no means a miracle supplement, but they can help you to feel more relaxed and help with sleep.