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Melatonin vs Valerian... or even better take both together with our Natuvitz Sleep-Aid

Melatonin vs Valerian... or even better take both together with our Natuvitz Sleep-Aid

Nearly half of people in the United States have trouble sleeping, and it is common for people of all ages to experience sleep problems. Among the various ways to address sleep issues, natural sleep aids like valerian root and melatonin are becoming increasingly popular remedies. 

Valerian root and melatonin are two common over-the-counter supplements that are promoted to help with sleep. These supplements work in different ways, but both have properties that may help people wind down and fall asleep. When deciding which supplement to try, it can be helpful to understand the way each one works, their benefits and side effects.

How Does Melatonin Work?

Melatonin is a hormone naturally released by the brain that helps to regulate a person’s circadian rhythms. Circadian rhythms are patterns that occur in a nearly 24-hour cycle that determine the timing of processes in the body, including when you sleep and wake up. 

Nighttime or being in a dark room usually signals the brain to produce more melatonin and ease a person to sleep. Exposure to light sources, like the sun or artificial lights, can slow the release of melatonin and wake a person up. 

People take melatonin supplements for a variety of reasons. For example, melatonin supplements can be an effective treatment for jet lag since melatonin can help reset a person’s circadian rhythms and sync them with a new environment. Melatonin also lowers body temperature, which is another way it can help prepare the body to sleep.

Since melatonin signals the body to fall asleep, it can also be used to combat certain types of insomnia. Insomnia is a sleep disorder in which people find it difficult to fall asleep, get up often during the night, or wake up earlier than needed. Melatonin has been shown to be effective in helping people initially fall asleep, but may not help people stay asleep at night. 

How Long Does Melatonin Take to Work?

Melatonin supplements are often taken about one to two hours before a person’s desired bedtime, which is around the same time as when the body naturally increases melatonin production.

However, when to take melatonin may be different depending on the sleep problem being treated. Additionally, melatonin supplements come in both fast-release and slow-release forms, which can affect how long it takes for the effects to begin.

How Much Melatonin Can You Take?

The amount of melatonin you can take depends on your age. A usual dose for adults is between 1 to 5 milligrams, but some research suggests that doses lower than 1 milligram can also be helpful.

In children, dosages can also depend on what sleep problem is being treated, so it’s best to work with a child’s doctor to find the right dose. It is recommended that caregivers incorporate good sleep hygiene practices into their child’s daily routine before turning to sleep supplements like melatonin or valerian root. Healthy bedtime habits for children include setting regular bed and wake up times, implementing a screen curfew, and taking part in relaxing activities before bed such as a bath or story time




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