It’s important that you understand these over the counter sleep aids, however, as you want to be certain that you know what to expect.
The OTC sleep aid products are much stronger than the natural sleep aids, but you may find that the best sleep aids will be the all natural sleep aids rather than the OTC ones.
However, if all else has failed, you can turn to sleep aids like melatonin to help you get a good night’s rest.
It’s important that you understand what melatonin really is, as that’s the best way to be sure that you’re taking the right OTC sleep aids.
The melatonin sleep aid is made with melatonin, which is a hormone that your pineal gland secretes. Your body produces this hormone to be secreted in order to help your body relax and prepare for bed, and you will become drowsier and sleepier as your pineal gland continues to flood your body with the hormone.
The melatonin levels in your blood continue to rise as time passes, and you will find that you are less alert, less focused on whatever activity you are doing, and the idea of sleep becomes a lot more pleasant.
Once you are asleep, your body continues to produce melatonin. The production of this hormone will continue for about 12 hours, meaning that it will go back to normal daytime levels around 9 o’clock.
This is the reason that you often feel so tired in the morning, as your body is just beginning to cut back on the production of this hormone. You will find that your energy usually kicks in around 9, and your body will have stopped producing the hormone.
During the day, your levels of melatonin are hardly noticeable, though some people do feel a bit drowsy around early afternoon. This is why you feel like you want to take a nap, but that comes from something else.
Only when night rolls around does your body start to produce more melatonin again, and you will find that the cycle will begin all over again. Melatonin basically helps to regulate your sleep cycles, and it will ensure that your Circadian rhythm (the sleep rhythm) is as accurate as possible – which will guarantee that you sleep as well as possible at night.
Melatonin is often used to treat problems with insomnia and jet lag, which are two sleeping problems that result in the regular sleep pattern being thrown off. When your body is accustomed to sleeping between certain hours but is unable to do so, you don’t produce melatonin at the right times. Using melatonin to help treat the problem will ensure that you can deal with the sleep issues, and will make it possible for you to get your body back onto the rhythm that will help you to sleep well at night.
The interesting thing is that your sleep cycle is interrupted when the amount of light and darkness in your day changes.
Those that live in the far north of the world – such as in Alaska and Scandinavia – have many more hours of daylight than normal in the summer, which means that their bodies aren’t producing enough melatonin. Those that have sleeping problems will find that their altered sleeping pattern causes their body to produce insufficient levels of this hormone, which leads to an inability to sleep or a lack of tiredness when it comes time to get in bed.
Many doctors believe that melatonin supplements can be a solution for dealing with sleep problems.
The supplements are not regulated by the FDA, however, so many people believe that there is a risk when taking the hormone supplements.
Those that take the supplements will usually do so between 20 and 40 minutes before going to bed, which is believed to have the maximum impact on your body. When you take the supplement at this time, you will be able to flood your body with the hormone that it needs to be able to sleep, and the result will be a drowsy feeling that will promote sleep.
You will find that your melatonin level peak will be around 2 in the morning, which is when you are sleeping very deeply. The levels will begin to rise once the sun has set, and you will find that they will be greatly decreased when the sun rises (fascinating human body, isn’t it?). Those that take the supplement before going to bed will usually find that they are able to sleep, as they are flooding their body with the melatonin that your body needs to wind down your internal systems and finally get to sleep.
Other Uses for Melatonin
Melatonin sleep aid is one method of using the hormone, but there are many other uses that it can be put to:
• Immune System – Seeing as your body does a lot of its repair at night when you’re sleeping, melatonin is necessary to keep your body healthy. Some doctors believe that low melatonin levels can lead to cancer, so using melatonin can help to ensure that your body stays healthy and is fully able to repair itself.
• Age – The hormone melatonin is very important, and not having enough of it is believed to cause disorders associated with aging.
Studies have been done on rats and mice, and the studies show that melatonin can actually increase the lifespan of these animals by as much as 20%. You will find that melatonin is believed to be linked to Alzheimer’s, impaired immune function, and other disorders.
Melatonin can be used to treat both jet lag and sleeping disorders, and you may find that it is an effective solution to help you sleep better at night. It’s important that you are careful when taking the supplement, and that you follow the instructions to the letter. After all, that’s the only way to be sure you’re doing it right.
Tips for Improving Sleep
If you’re taking melatonin to sleep at night, chances are you’re having sleeping issues. If you want to improve your chances of having a good night’s sleep, here are some things that you can do:
• Listen to music. Sleep music will help to calm you down and lull you to sleep, so it may be a good idea to get some sleep music going in the background in order to promote healthy sleep. Make sure that the music is relaxing, and that you enjoy it.
• Make nightly rituals. Your nightly rituals are actually very important, as it is those rituals that will help your body to prepare for sleep. Keep the same rituals every night, and your body will accustom itself to winding down and preparing to sleep.
• Sleep enough daily. You need to be sure that you’re getting enough sleep every night, as that will help to set the regular patterns. Sleep at the same time every night, and make sure that you spend all 8 hours in bed. Resist the temptation to get up and do other things, but stay in bed and get your body accustomed to sleeping for a certain amount of time every night.
• Avoid alcohol and caffeine too close to bedtime. Most people think that alcohol helps you to sleep better, but it will just cause you to fall into a stupor rather than a deep sleep. Caffeine will also wake you up if you take it in the evening, so it’s best to avoid it anytime after lunch. Keep your consumption of both of these things limited to earlier in the morning, though you can enjoy a drink or two in the evening once you have restored your healthy sleeping habits.
• Get exercise. It’s very important for your health to get exercise, and you will find that doing an hour of solid workout a day will improve your sleeping habits. After all, if your body is tired, it will shut down in order to repair itself. Make sure not to do the exercise too soon before bed, but do it mid-afternoon or early in the morning in order to ensure that it’s ready for bed.
• Don’t do anything in bed. Most people like to watch TV or play games in bed, but bed should be reserved for sleeping only.
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