Melatonin is one of those popular supplements that can be found in a lot of stores. It is known as something that helps put people to sleep at night.
One might be surprised to find out that there may be other benefits that taking melatonin has. In this post, I will be discussing these possible additional effects.
What melatonin is
Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by our own bodies. It comes from the pineal gland which is in the epithalamus of the brain.
This hormone is made in response to darkness and helps to regulate our sleep cycles. Sometimes people may not make enough of it and finds that supplementing with it helps them. Others find that supplementation with it does not help them fall asleep.
Melatonin is sold in tablets, gummies, syrups and capsules. The strength of the doses ranges from 1-60 mg.
There may be side effects when supplementing with melatonin. They are as follows:
- Daytime drowsiness
- Stomach upset
What melatonin may also do for us
There are said to be some benefits that melatonin has besides sleeping ones. They are as follows:
- Provide antioxidant effects: It may be comparable to the antioxidant level of vitamin C.
- May have neuroprotective effects
- Cancer prevention
- Blood pressure reduction
- May treat acid reflux
- May ease pain (ex. migraines and menstrual cramps)
- May have anti-inflammatory effects when it comes to swelling, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and ulcerative colitis.
- May help PCOS symptoms: Some evidence suggests that melatonin helps with menstrual irregularity, infertility, testosterone levels and hirsutism.
- May boost the immune system.
Melatonin and COVID-19
For quite a few months now, there have been some blurbs about melatonin possibly being a preventative and/or treatment for COVID-19. This, like the other alleged benefits, are lacking evidence behind them.
How melatonin came into play for COVID-19 was when scientists noticed that melatonin users had seemingly lower odds of getting the virus. The scientists eventually came to find that they are 28% less likely to test positive for it.
It was also found that melatonin could possibly prevent severe disease and the development of becoming a long-hauler.
There is currently a trial going on with melatonin as a possible treatment for COVID-19. The catch is that the dosage is very high- way more than what people would take in their daily lives.
My experiences with melatonin
I have tried supplementing with melatonin multiple times in my life.
There were phases I went through where I was not sleeping well for whatever reason. During these times I decided to take 1-4 mg tablets of it around 30 minutes before I wanted to go to bed.
Recently, I decided to try taking it everyday for PCOS/hormonal reasons. This is due to me having read about it in the Period Power Manual as helping with PMS. For this, I was taking 2 mg before bed.
I can honestly say that every time I have taken melatonin, I have gotten bad side effects. It has not mattered the brand or dosage of them. Taking them makes me unable to stay asleep for long periods of time, gives me stomach cramps and makes me angry the next day.
Because of these bad effects that I get, I am unfortunately not going to be taking it at all anymore. The only reason why I would take it is if it is in indeed found to be a useful treatment for COVID-19. In that circumstance though, I would only take it for a short amount of time to kill off the virus.
Yes, melatonin may help with other things
It may or may not be a well known fact that melatonin could have benefits aside from helping with sleep. There needs to be more studies done on it though.
If you are considering taking it, do your research first.
Have you taken melatonin before? What was your experience?
Thanks for reading!
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