What is Melatonin ?
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone in your body. The pineal gland, a brain organ that regulates sleep patterns, produces it.
When it is dark outside, your body produces more melatonin, which aids in sleep. Melatonin production decreases in the presence of light.
Melatonin is also sold as a supplement over the counter. These supplements have been shown in clinical studies to be effective in the treatment of sleep disorders. (Source)
Melatonin is also being researched for other applications, such as anxiety treatment. Some people believe that melatonin reduces anxiety by improving sleep. It may also have a direct impact on anxiety symptoms.
Continue reading to find out more about how it might work, how to use it, potential side effects, and other details.
Melatonin is essential because it tells your body when to sleep and when to wake up.
During the night, your body produces more melatonin. Levels begin to rise as the sun sets and fall as the sun rises in the morning.
The amount of melatonin produced by your body is determined by the amount of light you are exposed to each day, as well as your internal body clock.
Is there any research about Melatonin ?
The majority of human research on melatonin has been conducted on people who are undergoing surgery.
People frequently experience anxiety before surgery, and medications such as benzodiazepines are commonly used to alleviate these symptoms.
Melatonin was compared to midazolam or a placebo sugar pill before surgery in a 2015 meta-analysis of clinical studies.
The majority of the studies found that melatonin worked better than a placebo pill and about as well as midazolam for reducing anxiety before the procedure.
Melatonin was also found to reduce anxiety symptoms after surgery in some studies, but not in others.
According to one 2018 study Melatonin worked about as well as alprazolam for reducing anxiety before surgery. (Source)
Melatonin was tested in people who had recently undergone a medical procedure to open up blood vessels in the heart in another 2018 study. Melatonin outperformed oxazepam in this study for improving sleep and reducing anxiety symptoms.(Source)
One older study looked at the effects of melatonin on sleep and mood disorders in older people. Melatonin worked better than a placebo sugar pill in this study to improve sleep and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. (Source)
Melatonin Can Be Taken in a Variety of Ways
Melatonin supplements can be taken in a variety of ways, depending on the person and the symptoms being treated.
The most common method is to take melatonin capsules or tablets orally. This is usually a quick and easy way to treat anxiety. Melatonin, on the other hand, has a wide range of applications and can be administered in the following ways:
Melatonin can be taken orally as a capsule or tablet. Take the appropriate dose for your age and symptoms.
Melatonin can be taken sublingually, which means it can be dissolved under the tongue. This is a common method of administration for patients who want to reduce their anxiety before surgery.
Melatonin has a wide range of applications, including topical skin care. Sunburn can be treated by rubbing melatonin-containing gel into the skin fifteen minutes before or four hours after exposure to the sun.
Intravenously: Melatonin can be administered intravenously, though this is not a common or DIY-friendly method of administration. This could be done as part of a variety of tumor-treatment therapies.
Melatonin, as you can see, is a very versatile supplement.
Melatonin supplements are available in the form of tablets that can be swallowed or pills that can be placed under the tongue (sublingual pills).
The most effective dose for alleviating anxiety symptoms is unknown.
Clinical studies have shown that 3 to 10 milligramme (mg) doses, taken just before bedtime, are effective. Higher doses have not been shown to be more effective.
When shopping for a melatonin supplement, look for high-quality products.
Some melatonin supplements, for example, are approved by the United States Pharmacopeia. This means they contain exactly what is listed on the label and are free of contaminants.
Risks and potential side effects
The majority of people who take melatonin do not experience any negative side effects.
When unfavourable side effects do occur, they are usually minor. They may include the following:
- Dizziness and headache
- Nausea stomach upset rash
Melatonin can cause sleepiness, but unlike benzodiazepines and other anti-anxiety medications, it usually does not impair thinking or coordination.
Melatonin may interact with the following medications:
blood thinners, blood pressure medication, and other sleep-inducing medications
If you are taking any of these or other medications, consult your doctor or pharmacist before using melatonin. They might be able to suggest an alternative medication.
If you have had an organ transplant or have a seizure disorder, consult your doctor before using this medication.
Melatonin Can Treat Various Types of Anxiety
Anxiety can be classified into several types based on the causes and symptoms. Melatonin can be used to treat the following anxiety disorders:
Generalized Anxiety: People who suffer from generalised anxiety may “overreact” to everyday problems and obstacles. They are subjected to enormous psychological stress as a result of relatively minor problems. Excessive, often irrational worry can interfere with normal functioning. Melatonin supplements can be used to reduce anxiety scores (measures of anxiety symptoms) in people who suffer from generalised anxiety.
Age-Related Anxiety: New research indicates that the elderly experience more anxiety than previously thought. Physical health decline, reduced social contact, and changes in mental status may all be anxiety-inducing factors for the elderly. Melatonin, when taken at night, has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression in older people.
Surgical Anxiety: Hospital and surgical anxiety is extremely common in people who need medical procedures. Sedatives can help with anxiety, but they frequently have unwanted side effects. Melatonin has helped some patients undergo surgery with less anxiety and pain.
Anxiety is so complicated that it can cause hormonal imbalances that lead to even more stress and anxiety! Hormone imbalances affect both men and women and cause anxiety, even if you have never experienced anxiety before. If you already have anxiety, hormonal imbalances can add to your stress.
In addition to taking supplemental melatonin for anxiety, there are other things you can do to help restore hormone balance. Proper nutrition, exercise, and sleep, for example, should all become part of your daily routine. The good news is that hormonal imbalance-induced anxiety can be treated and corrected.
You can start taking steps to reduce your anxiety and stress symptoms by testing your melatonin and other hormone levels. Bringing your hormones back into balance will bring balance back into your life!