There are many reasons why someone may suffer from insomnia or other sleep-related issues. Depression, anxiety, a combination of both, and other mental health problems are often why many people find that they can’t sleep at night. When looking for natural remedies, you may easily come upon melatonin as a solution. But are melatonin supplements a fool-proof cure for sleep troubles? Melatonin is best known for being an effective sleep aid for those who are suffering from sleep issues. Now that melatonin comes in many forms, including pills and gummies, it’s easy to buy over-the-counter, and can be used by nearly anyone, including kids. But there are some negative side effects that melatonin may have on certain individuals. If you’re considering taking melatonin to combat sleep troubles, here’s what you should know about how it could impact your mental health.
If you’re considering taking melatonin to combat sleep troubles, here’s what you should know about how it could impact your mental health.
What Is Melatonin?
Put simply, melatonin is a hormone that naturally occurs in the body. Melatonin promotes calmness and relaxation, helping individuals rest their bodies and minds in order to fall asleep. While most people take melatonin to help with sleep, others may take the supplement for their moods. By nightfall, your body starts to naturally produce melatonin to get you ready to rest.
How It Can Help
Melatonin can be used for a variety of reasons. People may use it to combat jetlag, insomnia, delayed sleep phase syndrome, and blindness. Some people even use the supplement to help with SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder, which causes individuals’ depression to spike when days are shorter and exposure to sunlight is limited.
How It Can Hurt
Interestingly enough, however, melatonin can also make depression symptoms worse in some people. As melatonin is used for sleep, it brings energy levels down. Weakened energy can contribute to feelings of depression. Lowering one’s mood more than the individual is used to can lead to a depressive state. According to some experts, the negative effects of melatonin can be combatted by increasing your Vitamin D intake. The easiest and most natural way to increase your Vitamin D intake is to expose your body, safely of course, to natural sunlight. Upping Vitamin D can almost instantly improve your mood, and negate the lowered mood you may have from melatonin supplements. Of course, another good rule of thumb is to limit the amount of melatonin you are consuming. Using it every day may not be necessary, and if you feel that is altering your mood too much, ask your therapist about other natural alternatives.
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Family Service Foundation, Inc. has been serving the greater Maryland area since 1936. This nonprofit organization helps residents in Baltimore, Baltimore County, Frederick County, and Prince George’s County across a span of different areas such as mental health, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse. We also provide interpretation services for deaf and deaf-blind individuals. To learn more, call us at 240-241-7249 or visit here.