Should you take Melatonin supplements to help you to sleep?
This is a question I get asked a lot so I am sharing my thoughts with you here.
Melatonin supplements are becoming more widely available now, so I wanted to share my thoughts and suggestions on it.
To be clear, I am not a doctor and this is not medical advice, these are simply my thoughts based on my experience and my therapeutic approach to sleep problems.
Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone in the human body which helps us to sleep. It is what makes us start to feel sleepy in the evening.
So, for people who are struggling with their sleep, it is becoming more common for them to try to increase their melatonin levels in the hope that this will help them to sleep.
But, I am yet to meet anyone who doesn’t have enough melatonin to sleep well. Rather the problem is what is blocking the melatonin from being dominant.
So, for me, there is no need to increase your melatonin, instead you need to look at removing what is blocking the melatonin from taking over so that you can get a good nights sleep.
What I always say, is that a good nights sleep is always there available to you, just beneath the surface – you just need to remove what is blocking it.
When you take melatonin supplements your sleep might temporarily improve, but because you are not addressing the problem, the things that were blocking your sleep can just take over again.
You can also build up a tolerance to melatonin supplements, meaning that you need to take more and more to get the same effect, as your body gets used to them.
In my experience, taking any tablets can also add to the anxiety around sleep and become part of the problem. You can start to believe that you are unable to sleep without the aid. This can add another layer to work through when we work on the underlying issue.
So, the biggest thing for me is that I don’t believe that you do not have enough melatonin, instead it is about changing what is dominant in your body. You can do this by learning strategies and techniques to help your body and mind to encourage melatonin dominance.
The wonderful thing is that we don’t have to do anything to make melatonin happen, we just have to make sure that we are setting up the right conditions for it to do it’s job properly.
There is also a concern that if you supplement something like melatonin, it can make your body lazy in producing it naturally. This would mean you would find yourself relying on supplements more and more.
It is very normal for someone to be taking Melatonin or other medications when they first start working with me in the Total Sleep Reset Programme because ultimately if you need sleep you will do anything to try to get it.
We usually start working on improving your sleep and then gradually start reducing supplements or medications if your prescriber is happy with that.
I hope my perspective on this issue is helpful to you.