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:
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
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?
My sleep has been totally disrupted for the past six months. It has gotten even worse since this whole pandemic situation started. My anxiety has been higher.
If I am two days before my period starts…forget it. I won’t be sleeping at all. Darn hormones!
I was looking up ways to improve my sleep hygiene when the idea of sleep hypnosis came up. This seemed kind of foolish to me at first. I always thought hypnosis was complete quackery to be honest.
Nevertheless, I kept looking into it. I found many sleep hypnosis videos on YouTube and was very intrigued.
I decided to try them out each night for a week. Read on for how it went!
First, a little background on hypnotherapy
Hypnotherapy was started back in the 18th century (1701-1800) by a German physician named, Franz Mesmer. The doctor came up with it on his own which caused a great deal of skepticism in the science community. He really believed in what he was doing though and felt that he was helping his patients with their various ailments.
Hypnosis is still done to this day even though the science is shaky at best and can’t be agreed on. It is about getting into a state of mind in which concentration is heightened. When one is this way, they are allegedly able to take directions and suggestions easier.
People are started off in a relaxed position- either sitting or laying down. A trained therapist guides the hypnosis sessions by talking to them gently, with a calm voice.
The conditions that practitioners claim hypnosis can treat are smoking habits, anxiety, depression, phobias, insomnia, GI problems (ex.IBS), pain and sex drive issues. The number of suggested sessions ranges from one to six depending on what conditions people are wanting to fix.
Becoming a hypnotherapist requires training. This involves formal education and clinicals. After criteria is met, the candidate can then obtain their certificate and start practicing. If one wants to pursue a certificate, they need to be in certain career fields. These careers include social work, physicians, dentistry, ministry, counseling, psychology and other healthcare work.
Finding the videos
As mentioned before, I found a lot of sleep hypnosis videos on YouTube. It was a little bit overwhelming as I didn’t know which ones to choose.
There are 46 videos included in the playlist. I chose seven of them-one for each night of the week. My plan was to get into bed at around 10:00 PM and listen to the videos on my phone with ear buds (that is recommended).
How each night went
This night’s video: Sleep Hypnosis for Calming an Overactive Mind
I was really excited to start trying sleep hypnosis. The reasoning behind choosing this video was due to it being for helping reduce the clutter in our minds. This is one of the reasons why I have trouble sleeping-too many thoughts running through my head.
After taking a relaxing shower, I hopped into bed and fired up the video on my phone. I decided to lay flat on my back at first but then eventually switched to laying on my side. It was more comfortable to me.
I fell in love with Michael’s voice right away! It is soothing with a deep tone and accent (he is from Australia).
Unfortunately, I was expecting too much from it my first time. I was thinking that I would fall asleep easily which did not happen.
Focusing on his guidance was hard for me and I was not able to reduce the thoughts running through my head. I chalked it up to it being my first night trying it and that maybe that was just not the right video for me.
I was still excited to try again!
This night’s video: Hypnosis for Life Healing Sleep- Manifesting Health and Cleansing Chakras
I chose this one because “life healing sleep” sounded good to me. Also, I have always liked the sound of rain so that being in the video was a deciding factor too.
Let me tell you, that voice of his combined with the soft rain sound was heavenly! I got so relaxed throughout the time listening to it and felt peaceful.
With this video, I was able to concentrate on his guidance better. I ended up falling asleep before it was over. Success!
This night’s video: Sleep Hypnosis for Jaw Relaxation & Teeth Grinding
I have a teeth grinding issue that is worse in the evening so I was interested in trying it out. If you know anything about teeth grinding you would know how bad it is for your mouth/jaw and how achy you can get because of it.
Honestly, I don’t remember if my grinding stopped as I passed out about 15 minutes after I put it on. This seemed strange to me because I wasn’t even that tired when I laid down in bed. Another success?
His voice is like butter to my ears!
This night’s video: Sleep Hypnosis Release Negativity with Deep Mind Change
I chose this one because releasing negativity in my mind is something I need to do. My negative self-thoughts have gotten better over the years but there are some improvements that can be made.
I did get to a calm and happy state when listening to it. It really got me thinking about who I am and where I want to be in life. I also loved the faint amount of music that was playing in the background.
I didn’t fall asleep during the video, so I decided to put on Tuesday night’s video again because I loved it so much. It didn’t take me long to drift off to sleep once I started it. Success!
This night’s video: Sleep Hypnosis for Celtic Healing Energy| Clearing Negative Energy for New Growth
I chose this one because the title and the thumbnail looked nice. Celtic healing practices have always been fascinating to me so I felt this would be right up my alley.
The music in the background was so calming to me. My brain really responds to it in combination with his voice.
I loved this one as I found it to be very beautiful. It made me fall asleep peacefully!
This night’s video: Sleep Hypnosis for Floating Relaxation| Calm Your Mind for Deep Sleep
Okay, I don’t know specifically why I chose this one. However, it was an absolute pleasure listening to. Beautiful and simple. For whatever reason it hit me hard (in a good way!) and left me being fully focused on the relaxation of my body.
I fell asleep a couple minutes after it ended.
I decided to do Saturday’s video again. The plan was to do a different one each night, but I just had to go back to the previous video.
It was just as wonderful as the first time and I fell asleep a couple minutes afterwards again.
My final thoughts on sleep hypnosis
I loved the sleep hypnosis videos overall. The video I did on Saturday and Sunday was my absolute favorite out of all of them. Tuesday’s video was a close second.
As you can see, the sleep hypnosis did work for me. I think it was because I really wanted it to.
Hypnosis is not like what you see in the movies/shows. You don’t fall into a trance when the hypnotherapist counts backward from ten. It is about getting you to concentrate so that positive changes can be made over time.
Don’t expect miracles if you try any of the thousands of sleep hypnosis videos that are available, but they could help you to relax a little bit. You never know!
Will I be putting on more sleep hypnosis sessions?
The answer to that is… I actually have been putting them on every night since! The videos really help me to sleep and they are safer than medications.
I also plan on trying out the morning meditation videos that Michael Sealey offers (maybe I will do a post on that in the future?!)
Have you had any experiences with sleep hypnosis/general hypnosis/meditation? What are your thoughts on it?