Millions of people have trouble sleeping. However, few of them actually have a solution to their sleep troubles. The many melatonin benefits make it an ideal resolution to your sleeping troubles.
Most over-the-counter sleeping pills leave you feeling groggy and grumpy. Meanwhile, doctors don’t have many solutions for insomnia. It’s usually trial and error as you try to find a sleep solution. Melatonin comes with few side effects and has helped many get to sleep. But it also comes with other benefits. Find out how melatonin benefits can help you.
Why Does Sleep Matter?
If you’re not sleeping, your quality of life can suffer. A lack of sleep keeps your energy level down. As a result, it lowers your productivity. Both at work and at home, you might not have the energy to do what needs to be done.
But a lack of sleep does more than hurt your productivity. It also increases your risk of illness. If you come into contact with germs, your body won’t have the energy to fight off the invaders. Sickness wears you down causing an endless cycle of exhaustion.
There are other health risks associated with a lack of sleep. For example, poor sleep can cause high blood pressure and diabetes. You need to get enough sleep to keep your body healthy.
How Does Melatonin Help?
Melatonin is a hormone that occurs naturally in your body. It notifies your body that it’s time to get some sleep. Typically, your body produces melatonin when it gets dark outside. This triggers your body to go into sleep mode.
Although your body produces melatonin, some people don’t make enough of it. When this is the case, sleep can be hard to come by. Your body might not be able to wind down before bed.
Thanks to melatonin, you can fall asleep easier. With a melatonin supplement, you can alert your body that it’s time to fall asleep. You might be able to kick your insomnia. It won’t completely knock you out like a sleeping pill. Instead, it helps you gradually prepare for sleep.
Melatonin does more than just help you fall asleep. In fact, there are several melatonin benefits. Here’s a closer look at what melatonin can do for you.
1. Support eye health
As an antioxidant, melatonin supports eye health. It reduces your chance of getting an eye disease, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD)1.
One study reported that taking melatonin every day protected retinas from AMD. Additionally, it delayed the damage that typically occurs as a result of AMD.
2. Treat stomach ulcers and heartburn
Once again, the antioxidant properties of melatonin can improve your health. One of the melatonin benefits is the ability to treat ulcers and heartburn. In a study of 21 participants, melatonin (along with omeprazole and tryptophan) helped heal stomach ulcers.
In a separate reflux study, melatonin limited the effects of heartburn. It relieved the symptoms quickly.
3. Combat tinnitus
If you suffer from an incessant ringing in your ears, you have tinnitus. Unfortunately, there are very few treatments for this uncomfortable ailment.
By taking melatonin, you might be able to reduce your symptoms. As a result, you can fall asleep in less time. The ringing in your ears won’t distract you.
4. Raise growth hormone levels
While you sleep, your body produces human growth hormone. But there may be a way to get your body to produce even more human growth hormone. In young men, melatonin could increase levels of human growth hormone.
5. Help with jet lag
Because melatonin has an effect on your circadian rhythm, it can combat jet lag. Many travelers experience jet lag when they quickly cross over time zones2. The symptoms include fatigue, nausea, depression, and loss of appetite.
Unfortunately, jet lag often keeps travelers from their plans. Instead of shining brightly at a work conference, you might be struggling to stay awake. Or instead of enjoying your vacation, you could be stuck in bed.
Melatonin can help with your jet lag. It regulates your body and helps it adjust to the change in time zones. To accomplish this, it syncs your internal clock with the actual time.
6. Improve relaxation
Melatonin can have a relaxing effect on you. By binding to certain receptors in your brain, melatonin induces relaxation.
7. Help you fall asleep quicker
In several scientific studies, results showed that melatonin helps people fall asleep. In fact, an analysis of multiple sleep disorder studies demonstrated that melatonin helped people fall asleep about seven minutes quicker3.
In addition to helping you fall asleep quicker, melatonin can also help you sleep better. You can sleep better than usual, which comes with many health benefits.
8. Improve seasonal depression
In the winter, many people suffer from seasonal affective disorder. Known as the winter blues or seasonal depression, seasonal affective disorder affects about 20% of adults throughout the US4.
Seasonal depression could be caused by light changes and sleep cycle changes. When you take melatonin, you can get your sleep cycle back on track. This improves the symptoms of seasonal depression and can even cure it completely.
If you want to experience the many melatonin benefits, you need to use it properly. You need to take it about 30 minutes before you fall asleep. Otherwise, you might be drowsy too soon or too late. The right timing can help you reap all melatonin benefits.
References: 1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16399908, Effects of melatonin in age-related macular degeneration, 2005 Dec;1057:384-92 2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/165339.php, Jet lag: What it is and how to beat it, December 20, 2017 3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3656905/, Meta-Analysis: Melatonin for the Treatment of Primary Sleep Disorders, May 17,2013 4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2686645/, Seasonal Affective Disorder, 2008 May; 5(5): 31–33