How Much Melatonin Should I Take For Sleep?

old message How Much Melatonin Should I Take For Sleep? Darrell Miller 11/08/11

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Date: November 08, 2011 11:49 AM
Subject: How Much Melatonin Should I Take For Sleep?

Melatonin is a chemical compound in the body which is mainly responsible for the regulation of day - and - night cycle of the body. This bodily substance is classified as a hormone which is controls circadian rhythms of many biological processes which the body undergoes. This hormone has many functions in the body.

More specifically, melatonin is naturally produced by the pineal gland which can be found in the brain. This hormone is so - called as the "hormone of darkness" to regulate the sleep - wake cycle. However, when the production of this hormone is altered due to change in time zones, work rotations or shifts and the like, melatonin supplements may be necessary. This will help regulate the sleep - wake cycle of the person which is disturbed by such changes in sleeping and waking time.

Health experts suggest that to allow onset of sleep, melatonin supplement must be taken about half to one and a half hour before you plan to sleep. Melatonin supplements will serve as a mild hypnotic because it increases the concentration of melatonin in the blood. It may be mixed in beverages.

The recommended dosage of this supplement varies from person to person. Therefore, if you plan to use melatonin supplements, it is best that you should talk to your doctor. Seeking medical consultation prior to use is also necessary so that you can discuss with the doctor your sleeping problems and other relevant health conditions. This will also prevent over – dosage which can be life – threatening to the user. Generally, the usual dosage prescribed by the doctor is only 1 to 5 milligrams of melatonin supplement. This is the dosage in which safety and effectiveness is established. Typically, individuals are suggested to start with the lowest dosage possible which is 0.3 milligram and then titrated up to the dosage effective for your body.

A small dose of melatonin supplement taken before bedtime may not directly cause sleepiness but can only act as a chronobiotic agent in which it only advances the phase which affects the body’s biological time structure. Melatonin supplement best works together with light therapy. If you are taking such supplement, the light in your environment must also be low. If waking hour onset must be initiated, bright light must also be provided.

Another health benefit of melatonin is that it has a potent antioxidant property which is helpful in the prevention of free radical damage on the cells of the body. It particularly protects the DNA of the cell’s nucleus thus promoting a healthy cell of the body. Antioxidants also promote a normal and healthy cellular division, thus, lowering the risk of abnormal cellular division and cell growth that can lead to tumors and malignancies. In fact, in 2007 the World Health Organization stated that one potential precipitating factor of tumors and cancer is late night shift work and excessive stress. Aside from its antioxidant property, melatonin also serves as a suppressant for the progress of tumor cells that is produced during wakeful nights. Many studies have revealed that people who work in artificial light relatively have decreased melatonin levels and have a higher risk of developing cancer. Fortunately, melatonin supplements increase the level as well as the production of such hormone at different times of the day.

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