Some studies show promise for the use of melatonin in shortening the time it takes to fall asleep and reducing the number of awakenings, but not necessarily total sleep time. Other studies show no benefit at all with melatonin.
Natural melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland, helps humans fall asleep. Synthetic melatonin has been available as a sleep aid for nearly 3 decades and since it’s classified as a “dietary supplement,” it is almost completely unregulated by the FDA.
Melatonin is meant to reset the body’s internal clock. For example, it’s appropriate to use the supplement to counter the effect of jet lag, or help someone sleep if they have an unusual work schedule. It should NOT be used for general insomnia.
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