Melatonin for Sleep - How Can It Help You?

The effects of melatonin for sleep have been proven in scientific studies, and so it's well worth trying this supplement if you suffer from sleepless nights


Melatonin is a hormone which is linked to feelings of tiredness and the physical changes which precede sleep. It's produced naturally by the pineal gland in the brain which helps regulate the body's sleep cycle by releasing melatonin when the body senses the onset of night, helping us sleep through the night and stay awake throughout the day.

Melatonin can help with sleep problems
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In menopausal women, changes in hormones and the sleep disturbances caused by symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats can disturb the body's natural sleep cycle. Perimenopausal insomnia can then lead to menopause weight gain, as we over-indulge in sweet, high-fat junk foods to boost energy and make up for the lack of rest.

Melatonin Dosage

Because melatonin is not well regulated, the correct dosage for a menopausal woman is unclear. It is recommended to start with a very low dose if using melatonin supplements - between 0.1mg and 0.3mg. Don't go over 5mg per dose, unless you have a specific reason and a doctor has given you an OK. Always consult a medical professional before taking supplements.

Melatonin Side Effects

Some of the side effects of melatonin can be similar to perimenopause symptoms, so it can be difficult to tell what is actually causing these issues. Pay attention to changes in your body if you start taking melatonin, watching out for:

  • Headaches
  • Mood swings
  • Heart palpitations or a faster heartbeat
  • Itchiness
  • Drop in body temperature
  • Changes in blood pressure
  • Vivid dreams

Alcohol can affect the functioning of melatonin, so don't drink if you're using this supplement.

Melatonin Supplements

You'll see melatonin for sale in many outlets, including health stores and online pharmacies.

You can obtain it in the US without a prescription. If you take a melatonin supplement, it will create a higher level of the hormone in your blood than would ever occur naturally. However, and it is thought to be safe to use for short term treatment of insomnia and in the doses recommended on the packaging.

  • Buy pharmacy grade melatonin from a reputable supplier
  • Buy melatonin in its pure form, not mixed with other supplements
  • Take careful note of dosage recommendations and start with a low dose
  • Regular release gets the melatonin into your system relatively quickly, so you'll fall asleep fast. Sustained release lets the melatonin into your system throughout the night, and should help you sleep for longer.

Insomnia during the menopausal years can be a real problem and it's certainly worth considering melatonin for sleep problems in your pursuit of a refreshing night's sleep.

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