You’re not getting enough sleep. You’re tossing and turning all night, and you’re exhausted during the day.
If you have difficulty in sleeping and sleep disturbance, you may have looked for over-the-counter sleep aid to help.
Melatonin is a hormone that regulates the sleep wake cycle. Thus a large number of people reach out for synthetic Melatonin hormone, an OTC dietary supplement to help with sleep problem.
While Melatonin use is not regulated, it comes with several side effects that you should be aware of! In this post, we’ll discuss melatonin side effects and Ayurvedic natural ways to improve your sleep quality.
What is Melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by the pineal gland in the brain. It is responsible for regulating your circadian rhythm. That’s your body clock that directs vital body functions as secretion of other hormones, digestion, mental alertness and your sleep wake cycle.
The levels of melatonin in the body vary depending on the time of day and according to the ambience darkness levels. Melatonin levels are highest at night time, which is why it is often referred to as the “sleep hormone”.
Your body gradually starts making melatonin about two hours before bedtime, bringing on that familiar drowsy feeling, and production continues throughout the night. Melatonin levels rise when it gets dark outside and as sunrise approaches, levels begin to drop, letting you know it’s time to rise for the day.
Melatonin for Sleep
The use of melatonin has increased in recent years, as more people are looking for natural ways to improve their sleep cycle.
It is commonly used as a treatment for insomnia, jet lag, anxiety and circadian rhythm sleep disorder as happens in shift work. Melatonin supplements are available over-the-counter and can be taken in pill, tablet, or liquid form.
Though natural Melatonin hormone plays an important role in our sleep wake cycle, its use as a supplement to treat sleep disorders is not recommended due to its potential side effects.
That’s why if you’re considering taking melatonin supplements, it’s important to talk to your doctor first.
Functions of Natural Melatonin Hormone for Women Health
Naturally produced melatonin hormone has vital roles to play in maintaining function and health of our body. Specifically for women, Melatonin also participates in maintaining her hormone balance. That’s why it is important that you balance your natural Melatonin level.
1. Regulating the menstrual cycle: Melatonin regulates the secretion and balance of women reproductive hormones Estrogen and Progesterone and also Thyroid hormone. Thus, helps to regulate the menstrual cycle and reduce symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS).
2. Easing menopause symptoms: Melatonin may help to ease some of the hormone imbalance symptoms associated with menopause, such as hot flashes and night sweats.
3. Improving sleep quality: Melatonin can help to improve sleep quality and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. This is especially beneficial for women who are experiencing insomnia due to menopause or PMS.
4. Boosting immunity: Melatonin supports the functioning and strength of the immune system, making it more effective at fighting off infections and diseases.
5. Reducing inflammation: Melatonin has anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce swelling and pain throughout the body.
Side Effects of Melatonin Supplement
While melatonin is generally safe it can cause daytime sleepiness, changes in sleep pattern, headache, dizziness, nausea, and fatigue. In rare cases, melatonin may cause more serious side effects such as seizures, change in heart rate and hallucinations. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop taking the melatonin supplement and call your doctor right away.
1. Melatonin for kids and teens
There are few studies on the side effects of melatonin supplementation in children, but it is generally considered safe for short-term use. Some common side effects in kids include headache, vivid dreams, stomachache, daytime drowsiness, change in appetite, and feeling cranky.
It’s important to note that melatonin is not recommended for children under the age of 18 unless advised by a doctor. Melatonin may interfere with the natural production of hormones in growing children and teens, so it’s important to talk to your doctor before giving it to your child.
2. Melatonin for Pregnant and breastfeeding women
There is not enough research on the safety of melatonin use during pregnancy or breastfeeding, so it’s best to avoid it. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding and want to take melatonin, seek medical advice first.
3. Drug Interactions
Melatonin may interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners, antidepressants, and diabetes medication. If you take any medication regularly, seek medical advice before taking supplemental melatonin.
It’s also important to note that melatonin may make some medications less effective, so it’s important to take it at least two hours before or after taking other medication.
4. Who should not use Melatonin Supplementation for Sleep?
If you have below health conditions as diabetes, depression, a bleeding or blood clotting disorder such as hemophilia, blood pressure problems, epilepsy, autoimmune condition; then you should not use Melatonin for sleep.
5. Melatonin Supplements for Sleep Problems
People with sleep issue have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or both. When symptoms last a month or longer, it’s called chronic insomnia.
Taking a melatonin pill or gummy before bedtime may help you fall asleep a few minutes faster. However, this will not make a significant difference in how often you wake up at night or how many hours of sleep you get in total.
Melatonin supplements are not effective if you have chronic and serious sleep problems such as insomnia.
6. Hormone Imbalance in Women
Melatonin is not only responsible for regulating the sleep cycle, but also has a hand in governing other hormones in the body.
For women, melatonin can affect the balance and production of reproductive hormones like estrogen and progesterone, thus affecting your menstrual cycle, PMS, fertility, skin and hair health. That’s why it is important that you should not take higher dose and avoid long term use of melatonin supplementation.
What causes low production of melatonin in the body?
There are several factors that can influence the production of melatonin in the body.
- One of the most important factors is exposure to light. The body produces less melatonin when exposed to light, and this is why people often find it difficult to sleep during the day.
- Another factor that can influence melatonin production is stress. When a person is under stress, the body produces less melatonin, which can make it difficult to fall asleep at night.
- Other factors that can influence melatonin production include age, diet, and medications.
For most people, melatonin production is not a problem. However, for some people, these factors can make it difficult to produce enough melatonin, which can lead to sleep problems. If you are having difficulty sleeping, it is important to talk to your doctor about the factors that may be affecting your melatonin production.
Ayurvedic Natural Ways to Promote Melatonin Production in the Body
There are many simple, safe and effective natural ways to improve melatonin production in the body rather than taking supplements. This will help you to not only avoid the side effects of Melatonin and other sleep aids but also improve your sleep quality in a natural way.
Ayurvedic Herbs for Insomnia and Sleep Disorders
There are a number of Ayurvedic herbs that can be used to treat insomnia. These herbs work by soothing the nervous system, promoting relaxation and boosting natural production of Melatonin in the body.
Some of the most effective Ayurvedic herbs for insomnia fall in the category of nervine tonics (Medhya Rasayana) and adaptogens. These herbs can be taken in the form of tea, capsules, or tinctures.
Chamomile is a popular herbal remedy for insomnia. This herb has calming and sedative effects that can help to promote sleep.
Passionflower is another popular herbal remedy for insomnia. This herb has sedative effects that can help to promote sleep.
Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb that has a long history of use as a natural remedy for insomnia. This herb is known to promote relaxation and reduce stress levels.
Shankhpushpi is an Ayurvedic herb that has been traditionally used to for mental health, relaxation and stress reduction.
Brahmi is an Ayurvedic herb that has traditionally been used to improve cognition, relax mind, support memory and aid with good sleep in the night.
Tagar is an Ayurvedic herb that has traditionally been used to treat insomnia. This herb is known to promote relaxation and reduce stress levels.
Foods and diet that boost Melatonin production in the body
There are certain foods and dietary habits that can help to boost melatonin production in the body. Melatonin is a hormone that helps to regulate sleep and wakefulness, and it is produced naturally in the body. However, some people may not produce enough melatonin, which can lead to difficulty sleeping.
Eating foods that contain tryptophan can help to increase melatonin production. Tryptophan is an amino acid that is converted into serotonin, which is then converted into melatonin. Foods that contain tryptophan include milk, ginger, nuts, and seeds.
Eating a carbohydrate-rich meal can also help to increase melatonin production. Carbohydrates help to increase the level of insulin in the body, which leads to an increase in the uptake of tryptophan into the brain.
Ayurvedic lifestyle tips to boost Melatonin production
In addition to dietary changes, there are other things that can be done to boost melatonin production.
- Light: Exposure to bright light during the day can help to stimulate melatonin production, and avoiding exposure to light in the evening can help to keep levels high.
- Regular Exercise: Physical activity can also help to increase melatonin level.
- Manage Stress: Stress can interfere with melatonin production, so managing stress levels may help to increase levels.
- Herbal Supplements: Some herbs, such as chamomile, passionflower, and lavender, have been shown to boost melatonin production.
- Breathing Exercises: Taking some time to do some deep breathing exercises can also help to increase melatonin level.
As you can see, there are a number of different things that can be done to boost melatonin level in your body. These natural ways will reduce your dependency on sleep medication, get better sleep and help you counter your sleep problem holistically.
Ayurveda offers effective natural ways to treat sleep disorders and insomnia. Ayurvedic diet, lifestyle and medication provides a holistic natural avenue for permanent relief from health symptoms at the root cause level.
Consult with Medhya’s Ayurvedic Health Experts to get your personalised health plan involving prescription for Ayurvedic medicine, diet, yoga and lifestyle guidelines.
1. How can I get deep sleep in Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a form of medicine that is over 3000 years old and originates from India. It is based on the principle of balance in the body, mind, and spirit. According to Ayurveda, deep sleep is essential for good health and well-being. There are many ways to promote deep sleep through Ayurvedic practices. One way is to create a bedtime ritual that includes calming activities such as reading or journaling. It is also important to create a dark and quiet environment in your bedroom. ayurvedic doctor can also recommend herbs or supplements to promote deep sleep. Some of these include ashwagandha, brahmi, and shankhapushpi. By following these Ayurvedic practices, you can promote deep, restful sleep and improve your overall health and well-being.
2. Is there any sleeping pills in Ayurveda?
Sleeping pills are not something that are traditionally found in Ayurveda. However, this does not mean that there are no natural ways to promote sleep. There are a number of Ayurvedic herbs that can be used to help encourage sleep by promoting natural production of melatonin in the body and by reducing stress and anxiety levels. Herbs such as chamomile, ashwagandha, brahmi, jatamansi, lavender, and valerian root are highly effective in treating sleeping disorders as insomnia and waking up in the night. In addition, certain Ayurvedic practices, such as oil massages and pranayama breathing exercises, can also be helpful in promoting relaxation and inducing sleep. So while there are no sleeping pills per se in Ayurveda, there are still plenty of natural ways to encourage a good night’s sleep.
3. Does ashwagandha increase melatonin?
Ashwagandha is an herbal remedy that has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine. The root of the plant is typically dried and powdered, and it is commonly taken as a dietary supplement. Ashwagandha is thought to have a wide range of health benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety, boosting immunity, and improving cognitive function. Some research has also suggested that ashwagandha may increase melatonin levels in the body. Melatonin is a hormone that helps to regulate sleep-wake cycles, and it is often taken as a supplement to help with insomnia. While the research on this topic is limited, some studies have found that ashwagandha may indeed increase melatonin levels in the body. Therefore, if you are struggling with insomnia, ashwagandha may be worth trying as a natural remedy.
- ANIDRA (Insomnia)
- Melatonin in Medicinal and Food Plants: Occurrence, Bioavailability, and Health Potential for Humans
- Determination of melatonin content in traditional Thai herbal remedies used as sleeping aids
- Relevance of Ayurveda in Management of Sleep Disorders
- MANAGING SLEEP DISORDERS IN THE ELDERLY WITH AYURVEDA