If you or someone you know has sleep troubles, you’ve probably heard of melatonin and its role in promoting better sleep. However, have you considered the possibility that melatonin may also help with weight loss? If you also struggle with maintaining a healthy weight, melatonin may be able to help you reach your goals, but don’t think of it as a silver bullet for eliminating body fat.
Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced by the brain, specifically in the pineal gland. It is used to control the body’s sleep cycle; essentially, it makes sure that you fall asleep at night and wake up during the day. If you have trouble falling asleep, or your sleep cycle is out of balance, melatonin supplements can help with that.
Typically, if a person regularly suffers from any sort of sleep disorder, whether it be trouble falling asleep in the first place, getting a deep enough sleep, or getting sleep without interruption, melatonin supplements are used. Aside from this, however, there is some information that suggests melatonin has other health benefits, and it’s thought that weight loss may be among them.
The key to this belief is the link between weight gain and sleep deprivation. We’ve all heard of the recommendation for sleep: get at least eight hours at night. This is especially true if one wants to lose weight. Thinking about it this way, it’s clear to see how melatonin might contribute to weight loss. That being said, the best way to lose weight is to eat a healthy diet, and exercise regularly.
More About Melatonin
Even though melatonin is naturally produced by the body, certain disorders can limit its production or its effectiveness. This is what melatonin supplements are for. As a sleep supplement, it is used to help patients sleep, provide them with calmness, and ensure they are awake, rested, and alert during the day. In order to do this, it helps relieve insomnia, as well as jet lag and other sources of fatigue. It helps create a calm and restful state of mind by reducing stress to make sleep easier and more rewarding. It also supports brain function and general well-being.
Safety and Dosage
When it comes to dosage, it’s important to stay between 0.5 and 5 mg per day. This is because while it is considered “likely safe”, there is always some risk of developing an addiction or dependency; ultimately, because of its limited euphoric effect, there is a possibility of forming a dependency.
Keep in mind that when it comes to taking melatonin for weight loss, there is no dosage that has been established. Furthermore, the Natural Medicines Database has not rated its efficacy as a weight loss aid. Even as a sleep aid, there has been some disagreement in regard to how much should be taken, with results peaking around 12mg at bedtime (taken for no longer than a month). However, studies tend to champion smaller doses over larger ones. When taken for metabolic syndrome, which could be thought of in the same manner as weight loss, the recommended dosage is 5mg maximum on a nightly basis for no more than two months.
Melatonin has a low incidence of side effects, which is another reason why it could be thought of as helpful for weight loss. Some users have complained of minor side effects, including headaches, as well as drowsiness when awake. A few more serious side effects have been reported by users as well; these include mild tremors, cramps in the abdominal area, and even anxiety.
There are certain people who definitely shouldn’t use melatonin, however; children, for example, should avoid long-term use. Additionally, pregnant women, and those who are lactating, should likewise avoid using melatonin. As always, there is the possibility that melatonin may interact with other drugs, supplements, or herbs. For this reason, it’s important to speak to a medical professional before combining it with other substances or supplements.