Things You Might Not Know About Melatonin

Melatonin is the hormone in the body that enhances sleep. Melatonin is connected to the time of day it is and the amount of light present. 

Melatonin is naturally made within the body, but some take melatonin orally to help with sleep and sleep quality. It is most commonly used for jet lag, insomnia, and various sleep disorders. 

Mayo Clinic says that melatonin is produced in the body for “general needs.” Also, if being used to promote sleep and to treat insomnia, it is okay to use short-term. 

Common side effects of melatonin include dizziness, headaches and sedation hangover. Other symptoms that are less common are shaking and nausea. 

Although melatonin is recommended for adults to give sleep aid, it has not been studied thoroughly for children’s use. 

“Another concern about using melatonin for children is that its effects on the body go beyond sleep. It also plays a role in the way a person’s body matures sexually,” Mayo Clinic states. “Melatonin levels have an impact on how the ovaries and testes function. Further study is needed to determine if taking melatonin during childhood or the teen years can have an impact on a person’s sexual development.” 

The sleep time supplement goes way more into detail than most people might think. The harmful side effects of melatonin on kids go unknown. Professionals say there are other solutions that could improve sleep in children without the use of melatonin. 

Ella Katherine MacPherson, a junior at Lambert Highschool, used to take melatonin every night before she went to bed. Recently, she stopped taking the medicine. She claims it “messed up” her sleep schedule and she began to notice she could not fall asleep without it. 

“While taking melatonin, it would make me sleepy sometimes throughout the day,” MacPherson stated. Now that I stopped taking it, I sleep normally now and I am less tired during the day.”

Melatonin does not cause withdrawal side effects, unlike other medications that are addictive. Healthline says that Melatonin is unlikely to become addicting because the body does not build up a tolerance to it.

“I used to take melatonin almost every single night because I had a hard time falling asleep but then I realized that when I did not take it, it affected my sleep schedule,” Lexi Bacik, a junior at Lambert High School stated. “I stopped taking it every night and narrowed it down to taking it when I really needed it.”

Like a lot of people, Bacik claims that when she would take it late at night, she would wake up feeling really tired and drowsy. 

There isn’t a lot of research to determine if Melatonin is safe for long-term and long-term effects. While taking it, people should take the correct dose and for a short amount of time. 

For children, if possible, parents should find healthier and safer alternatives to help their children get better sleep.