Can Melatonin Help You Sleep & Fight COVID-19?

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With the recent news of COVID and the presidential election of 2020, many have been experiencing higher levels of stress and loss of sleep. Sleep is a critical component to a strong immune system and recent news has also reported Melatonin as a treatment for COVID-19.

I have received many questions about Melatonin, so I’ve put together a quick list of Top 5 Questions and Answers About Melatonin.

1. WHAT IS MELATONIN?

Melatonin is a natural hormone primarily that regulates the sleep–wake cycle. The pineal gland will release this hormone in the late evening causing you to feel sleepy and initiate the sleep cycle. Melatonin levels will reach their peak sometime between 2 am and 4 am.

2. IS MELATONIN SAFE?

Adults: Melatonin has been used safely for up to 2 years in adults, however, it is not without potential side effects. When using melatonin long term, watch for these side effects:

  • Headache
  • Feelings of depression
  • Daytime sleepiness or dizziness
  • Stomach cramps
  • Irritability

**Do not drive or use machinery for four to five hours after taking melatonin.**

Children: Melatonin is possibly safe when taken by mouth, short-term. Recommended doses are 3 mg per day in children and 5 mg per day in adolescents.  See below for more details on dosing.

3. HOW DOES MELATONIN WORK?

Melatonin’s primary function is to help regulate night and day cycles or sleep-wake cycles. Darkness will trigger your body to produce more melatonin and signal the body for sleep. Exposure to light will have the opposite effect and decrease melatonin production. Some people who have trouble sleeping have low levels of melatonin and supplementing with Melatonin tablets can help improve sleep.

4. WHAT IS THE BEST DOSE*?
There are several indications and doses where using Melatonin could be beneficial. I will cover the uses and doses where it has been shown to be the most beneficial. *
5. HOW LONG does it take for MELATONIN to start working?

Melatonin doses of 1-3 mg will take effect in one to two hours to induce sleep. It is best to take melatonin supplements two hours before bedtime.

 

BONUS: Pro Tips from Your Pharmacist When Taking Melatonin

It is important to note that Melatonin does not work for everyone and moreover, works best when you practice good sleep hygiene. Here are some of my professional tips I give to my patients when recommending Melatonin.

  • Tip #1: Prep your mind for bedtime by turning the lights down to a lower level. Melatonin cannot work effectively if you are watching TV or staring at your phone.
  • Tip #2: Stop Melatonin if it is not working. If after 1-2 weeks you do not see improvement, stop taking the supplement. There are other supplements that may work better for you.
  • Tip #3: Stop using your computer or smartphone —as hard as this is for all of us, if you want a good nights sleep, put the phone down early. Research has shown the blue and green light from these devices neutralize melatonin’s effects.
  • Tip #4: Less is more when it comes to taking Melatonin. A dose of 1-3 mg is generally effective for most individuals.

*CONDITIONS OF USE AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on this site or published by Hybrid Remedies. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

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Jason DuBois
Dr. Jason DuBois is a registered pharmacist, educator and Founder of Hybrid Remedies, a natural supplement research and development company. Dr. Jason DuBois’ passion as a pharmacist has always been about helping people find ways to get better faster. Whether giving talks to healthcare professionals, or advising friends and family, Dr. DuBois enjoys taking complex health subjects and making them relevant and easy to understand. With over 18 years of pharmacy experience, spanning the full spectrum of retail to clinical research, Dr. DuBois uses his understanding of science and nature to help patients find their ideal path to better health and wellness. Dr. DuBois graduated Cum Laude with a Doctorate degree in Pharmacy from the University of Florida. He started his career in retail pharmacy, but soon went on to specialize in immunology and solid organ transplantation at a world renowned Solid Organ Transplant Clinic in Northeast Florida. During his tenure as the senior transplant pharmacist, Dr. DuBois designed and implemented numerous clinical trials and drug protocols, served as a mentor for many resident research initiatives, and a contributing author on several published articles, manuscripts and protocols. His most notable achievements were the pioneering of four successful solid organ transplant programs for Mayo Clinic and a medication therapy management program designed to help patient’s learn and optimize their medication and supplement regimen. Ironically, Dr. DuBois penchant for natural supplements actually came out of sheer skepticism. Prior to 2004, Dr. DuBois was an “unbeliever” to put it lightly. After years of not advocating for natural supplements, he decided to challenge his own biased notions about whether supplements could truly be effective. Through his own research, Dr. DuBois set out to determine if there was any credible scientific evidence supporting the use of natural supplements for the immune system. After years of intense research, Dr. DuBois made several pivotal discoveries that convert his beliefs about natural supplements. As a result, he went on to start his own supplement company and a novel immune blend called HybridCR™. To date, Dr. DuBois has counseled thousands of patients, improving their health and wellness with insightful advice on how to get the most from medications and supplements. Dr. DuBois uses his clinical expertise and knowledge of Eastern and Western medicine to help patients safely integrate natural supplements, prescription, and over the counter medications together.

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