Melatonin and Sleep: The Do’s and Don’ts

Our bodies naturally produce melatonin, a hormone that helps us sleep, yet many of us still struggle to get a solid eight hours. Over-the-counter melatonin, usually in liquid or pill form, is a popular supplement to support slumber, but it’s not for everyone. Make sure you know the risks before you take melatonin (or any other sleep aid).

Is melatonin right for me?

According to research studies, the benefits of melatonin are clearest for adults with sleep issues related to Delayed Sleep-Wake Phase Disorder (DSWPD) and jet lag. Both of these sleep problems are caused by shifts to our internal clock, which melatonin supplements may help adjust or reset so we can get back to our normal sleep-wake cycle.

Experts are divided on whether or not melatonin is beneficial for adults with insomnia. Talk to your doctor to find out if it may be right for you.

How long does it take for melatonin to work?

Though we all absorb medication at different rates, it’s recommended to take melatonin 30 to 60 minutes before bed. (Melatonin levels peak within one hour, easing the body into a sleepy state.) Just avoid taking melatonin right at your ideal bedtime so you don’t throw off your circadian rhythm. This can cause daytime drowsiness.

How long does melatonin last?

Depending on the dose and formulation, melatonin can stay in the body for 4–10 hours. The typical dose for adults ranges from 0.1–10 mg. Immediate-release melatonin is absorbed rapidly, helping you fall asleep faster, while extended-release melatonin may help you sleep longer.

How much melatonin can I take?

If you have never taken melatonin before, it’s recommended to start with a small dose to see how your body responds — .5 or 1 mg 30 minutes before bed. If that doesn’t work, try 3–5 mg the next night. For optimal, safe results, follow the product’s instructions as you increase your dosage. 

Though melatonin is considered safe, it’s only meant for short-term use. If your sleep does not improve after a couple of weeks, consult with your doctor.

What are the side effects of melatonin?

Melatonin supplements are well-tolerated by adults; however, you may experience some mild side effects, including headache, dizziness, nausea and drowsiness. Melatonin can also interact with certain medications, including immunosuppressants, contraceptives and anticoagulants. Talk to your doctor if you’re taking these medications or if you have any health conditions.

CBN vs. melatonin: What’s the difference?

CBN and melatonin are both sleep aids, but they differ in their sources and how they work in the body.

Natural melatonin supplements are made from the pineal gland in animals, but most melatonin supplements are made synthetically. Because our bodies naturally produce melatonin, these supplements work in tandem with our internal processes and help elevate our melatonin levels.

CBN, or cannabinol, is a naturally occurring minor-cannabinoid extracted from the hemp plant. CBN interacts with our endocannabinoid system, which is thought to help regulate many of the body’s physiological functions, such as cognition, pain perception, mood, appetite and sleep. There are two main cannabinoid receptors, CB1 and CB2. CBN binds primarily to the CB2, a receptor that helps induce a sleepy state.

Unlike melatonin, CBN is designed to be taken nightly. There are no negative side effects and no high whatsoever. CBN can also be taken a variety of ways, including as an oil, softgel or gummy. 

We developed a CBN and melatonin blend to give slumberers maximum relaxation and tranquility, so they can safely fall and stay asleep. Start with a trial pack of our CBN and melatonin gummies, and then explore all of our natural sleep aid options.

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