Melatonin is a medication that is commonly used to treat chronic and severe cases of insomnia. Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder and can be short term or recurring. In this article we will discuss the benefits, risks and side effects of using Melatonin as a temporary sleeping tablet.
Melatonin and Insomnia
Insomnia is a sleep condition in which the individual has difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. Insomnia is also classified as waking up too early and being unable to fall back asleep. It may be acute or chronic. Acute insomnia may be one or more occurrences over a three week period while chronic insomnia is recurring over a four week period and lasts for more than one month.
Insomnia may be caused by sudden changes in lifestyle, anxiety, depression, or underlying health issues. It may also be caused by environmental factors and poor sleeping habits. Symptoms of insomnia include fatigue, loss of concentration, poor performance in work or school, dizziness, headaches, stomach and gastrointestinal distress, increased depression and anxiety.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you should discuss your alternatives with your doctor. They may require a full medical exam including blood work and family and personal history. A doctor may advise you to change your sleeping habits, eliminate caffeine and try relaxation exercises such as meditation or yoga. They may suggest herbal supplements or over the counter medications. For light to mild cases of insomnia, your doctor may let you buy melatonin uk a herbal sleep aid in helping you to sleep well.
Melatonin affects the chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced and affect normal sleep patterns. It often used to treat stress and anxiety, but is most commonly prescribed for insomnia. It is also known by the brand names Natrol, Nature Made.
The normal dosage is 5mg, but your doctor may recommend a stronger dosage depending on your specific case and the severity of your insomnia. It may be taken in liquid or table form. It is important that you follow the directions to the letter. You should never take more than prescribed, nor should you take Melatonin unless it has been specifically prescribed for you.
As you will start to feel sleepy usually within 30 minutes after taking Melatonin, you should take it directly before going to bed. You should only take Melatonin on a night when you know that you are able to get 7-8 hours of sleep as it stays in your system for a long time.
Melatonin is usually prescribed to be taken “as needed” so it is unlikely that you will “skip” a dose. However, you should never double your dosage.
Melatonin is only recommended as a short term treatment for insomnia. It is not recommended that you take it for longer than four weeks. Your body will quickly adapt to Melatonin over time and it will lose its effectiveness. It is also highly addictive and you may develop a dependency if you take it for longer than four weeks. If your insomnia has not improved after 7 to 10 days of taking Melatonin, you should tell your doctor as you may need to try a different medication.