Melatonin is touted as something of a miracle sleep aid.
The “night time hormone” is found in practically every natural sleep supplement on the market today. According to supplement manufacturers, melatonin can improve pretty much ever aspect of your sleeping habits – how long you sleep, how quickly you can drop off to sleep, the depth and quality of your sleep, and more.
It’s no wonder melatonin is found in so many natural sleep aids. If it can do all of this, then it is something of a miracle substance!
But can it really work? Is melatonin the incredible sleep aid that everybody has been saying it is? Just how effective is it in practice? Let’s take a look at the science and find out!
Melatonin & Sleep Quality
The research is surprisingly clear on this point – melatonin really does improve sleep quality.
Several clinical trials have found that people who consume melatonin on a nightly basis (an hour or two before going to sleep) have deeper, more consistent sleep than baseline (people who don’t take anything).
It seems that melatonin consumption helps you get into the natural human sleeping cycle. People who consume melatonin seem to enter deeper periods of sleep than baseline, and to stay in them for the “correct” amount of time. They also show healthier amounts of lighter (but equally important) REM sleep than most people.
Melatonin & Jet Lag
Arguably the main benefit of melatonin supplementation is the effect it has on jet lag.
As discussed above, melatonin does indeed help people to fall into deeper states of sleep and stay there for longer. It also promotes healthy amounts of REM sleep, which is important for memory function and mental health.
It also helps people fall asleep much faster than they would do otherwise.
Both of these things make melatonin ideal for fixing jet lag.
It usually takes several days for your body to get back onto the right sleeping schedule after you’ve jumped a few time zones. The problem is that your internal clock isn’t lining up with the time zone you’re in; you start releasing melatonin at the wrong time, and you don’t release enough when it comes to bedtime.
Supplementing with melatonin is incredibly effective at fixing the misalignment of your sleeping schedule and melatonin release.
By consuming melatonin, you hasten the onset of sleep and help your body to get back onto the correct sleeping schedule faster than normal.
Clinical trial after clinical trial shows that melatonin is extremely effective in practice at fixing – or even preventing – jet lag.
Does Melatonin Really Work?
Yes. The research is clear on this one; melatonin works.
It is effective for improving sleep quality, duration, and timing.
Melatonin is particularly effective for fixing jet lag.
It is a great natural sleep aid.