There Might Be More to Your Melatonin | Sip2Sleep®

There Might Be More to Your Melatonin Than You Think—Here’s an Alternative

Melatonin gummies are extremely popular because they’re easy, tasty, and feels like you are simply eating a candy before bedtime. However, those gummies might have more in them than “just” melatonin, and it could be hurting your sleep cycle more than helping it. Melatonin has long been thought of as a more natural way to get some shut-eye, whether you struggle with acute insomnia (like jet lag) or chronic sleep issues. However, it—and many OTC pills—are not regulated by the FDA because they are considered a supplement and not a drug. A recent study revealed that when it comes to melatonin, you might be getting more than you bargained for.
The full study can be found in JAMA where researchers shared their findings after examining 25 brands of melatonin gummies. They were looking into how much melatonin and CBD were in each and discovered that the majority of gummies (22 of the 25) did not have the correct labeling. The melatonin that was actually in the product ranged from 74 – 34.7 percent off from what the label said. Unsurprisingly, the vast majority had more melatonin than was labeled. Not all melatonin gummies have CBD, but those that did also typically had more CBD than what was on the label. So, if you think a certain brand of melatonin works really well, there’s a reason for that. But does it matter? Is too much melatonin really that big of a deal?

Kids and Melatonin

Our body already produces melatonin, and messing too much with that balance by introducing high levels of a synthetic form can put our bodies out of whack. Plus, many people give melatonin gummies to their kids. In the past 10 years, there have been 28,000 emergency room visits and 4,000 hospitalizations due to children “overdosing” on melatonin. However, when it came to asking physicians about their reactions to the study, one said, “The findings from this study were concerning but not surprising. The use of melatonin has increased astronomically in children and adults, and unfortunately, without FDA regulation, there is no appropriate oversight with the manufacturers.”
Even if the melatonin amounts on the label were correct, users are still taking more melatonin than the body naturally produces. On average, the human body creates between .01 - .08 milligrams of melatonin every night. Most melatonin supplements are between 1 – 5 milligrams, meaning that these gummies and pills contain hundreds more times the milligrams of melatonin that the body naturally produces. It is recommended on many labels and sites that school-aged children take about 3 – 6 milligrams of melatonin per night. It’s no wonder that it “works,” but at what cost?

Natural Sleep Aids

Sleep is important, but so is making sure that you get the sleep you need in a safe manner. It’s important to be conservative when using melatonin and try to avoid using it nightly. After all, is it really that “natural” if it’s exposing you to several times the amount of melatonin naturally produced by your body? According to one of the authors, “I recommend more than ever that people check with their doctors prior to taking melatonin, given the lack of regulation and inconsistent composition of these formulations and with these findings.”
It's tough to overdose on melatonin, but there can be some unwanted side effects with too much melatonin. For example, it can lead to headaches, nausea, and feeling agitated (as reported by the National Poison Center). CBD can lead to a decrease in appetite, diarrhea, and nausea if taken too much or for too long. Overall, melatonin might be a good option for tackling jet lag and some sleep disorders, but jet lag just lasts a couple of days and a sleep doctor will tell you if pills would be helpful for certain sleep disorders. Generally speaking, studies are mixed when it comes to whether melatonin should be used for chronic insomnia.
Rather than reaching for nightly melatonin, try adjusting your sleep hygiene and pre-sleep practices. Adding Sip2Sleep® to your evening routine is a truly natural way to get better sleep. It’s made with tart cherry extract and Venetron® to reduce inflammation and anxiety.
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