When you’re having trouble sleeping at night there may be many options you’re willing to try, including expensive prescriptions. There are actually some very effective natural remedies available that work well to treat insomnia. Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone in the brain that plays an important role in maintaining the body’s natural circadian rhythm of sleep. As we age, our bodies begin to lower their production of melatonin and many other hormones. As melatonin levels drop, it becomes harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. This is one reason why many people 40 and over have chronic sleep troubles. There are many prescription drugs available to treat insomnia and sleep problems, of course, but these come with side effects and are not suited for everyone. A melatonin sleep aid is a natural sleep remedy that works for many people.
Melatonin seems to work best for people who are awake during the night for work and have trouble keeping their natural sleep rhythm in balance. Working night shifts can wreak havoc on the body’s internal clock and make it difficult to fall asleep, even when you’re exhausted. Older people can also benefit from a natural melatonin sleep aid to restore low levels of the natural hormone in the body. There is also some evidence that young people taking ADHD medication can also benefit from this supplement. People often turn to melatonin to get rid of harmful and unpleasant side effects from common over-the-counter and prescription sleep aids.
When used to treat insomnia and sleep problems, melatonin works as a gentle and safe sleep aid that simply helps you fall asleep faster and get your full rest at night. The body naturally produces melatonin when it receives darkness signals and it works by relaxing the body into a gentle sleep. Melatonin can be found in fresh vegetables in very small amounts, although you can also buy it in pill form. If you decide to take melatonin pills, make sure you start with the lowest dose to see its effect on your body. Depending on the severity of your sleeplessness, you may only need a few milligrams each night.
There are two forms of melatonin actually for sale today: natural and synthetic melatonin. The synthetic version is produced in a laboratory under controlled conditions and was first isolated in 1958. There are many ways to produce this synthetic melatonin, including reducing a chemical called 5-methoxyindole-3-acetonitrile with ethanol and sodium. In fact, most melatonin supplies available in the U.S. are prooduced in a lab and mixed with an inert binder. Sometimes people are afraid of something labelled synthetic and automatically go for the supplement marked “natural,” assuming its better. With this hormone, however, that’s not really the case. Natural melatonin can also be used but it must be extracted from the pineal gland of a cow. This method has disadvantages and may pass along contaminants like abnormal proteins, viruses and bacteria that were present in the cow. It’s usually best to stick with synthetic melatonin, which is chemically identical to the natural version, minus the potentially harmful additions.