Melatonin is a hormone produced deep in the brain that plays a major role in regulating your sleep/wake cycle. When it’s dark outside your body produces and releases melatonin. When it’s light outside, your melatonin production is reduced.
Melatonin acts as a chemical messenger to tell other parts of your body that it’s time for bed. Melatonin supplements taken before bed may help signal to your body that it’s time to sleep, especially with changing time zones or work schedules, and other unplanned sleep disruptions. Studies show that short-term use of melatonin supplements is safe for most people, however, if sleep problems persist melatonin is not recommended as a long-term solution.
Common melatonin brands include:
- Nature’s Bounty
- Vicks® Zzzquil PURE Zzzs
- Midnite Sleep Health
Before managing your sleep problems on your own, make sure to talk with a healthcare provider about all the options, as well as any other medications or supplements that you might be taking. There are numerous reasons for sleep problems, ranging from short-term stressors to serious, long-term sleep disorders. Your doctor can help find the right solution for you.