Getting insufficient sleep? A third of Americans claim to not obtain the recommended seven or more hours of sleep per night, according to the CDC.
To combat this, some people take over-the-counter medications like melatonin. It’s a dietary supplement with sleep help written all over it. Doctors normally advise individuals to take no more than five milligrams of melatonin per night as a short-term therapy.
However, a recent study indicated that by 2018, the proportion of Americans taking more than five milligrams had tripled from a decade earlier, according to research published in the American Medical Association journal. Additionally, a prior study discovered that some melatonin tablets had more than five times the quantity stated on the bottle.
Melatonin is regarded as a dietary supplement by the NIH. Therefore, it is subject to less stringent FDA regulation than prescription medications. Rebecca Robbins is a sleep scientist. She currently teaches medical students at Harvard Medical School.
A lot more melatonin is being released, you know. How is it affecting people’s sleep? Melatonin, a hormone that is naturally released in the brain when the sun sets outside and we retire to a cool, dark bedroom, basically acts as a lullaby. The brain produces melatonin. It’s a lot, that. It is what enables us to nod off.
These melatonin tablets are getting more and more popular. We can see them on the pharmacy shelves. In specific circumstances, they are aiming to mimic or imitate that process. certain groups, including those with specific sleep problems. Speak to your doctor as usual because they might be quite effective.
Additionally, pay attention to the melatonin dosage you are taking.
Typically, we don’t advise taking more than five milligrams.
Melatonin should be used mostly in the short term.
Should the FDA intervene and tighten up the laws here?
Since there isn’t much regulation surrounding melatonin, as you mentioned, research has shown that there is actually a significant difference between what is contained in the tablets that are available on the shelves and what is stated on the label when we look at the amount of melatonin present in some of them. Thus, we simply are unsure about its purity. To avoid some of those difficulties, if you use melatonin, try to make sure it is pharmaceutical grade melatonin.