Consumer Health: Melatonin and sleep

a white woman sitting on the edge of a bed in a robe, looking out a window and stretching her arms up in the air for morning exercise

Sleep provides the foundation for all daily habits and decisions. Getting enough quality rest each night is essential for optimal health. Sleep deprivation can significantly affect both your mind and body. In addition to perpetuating serious health conditions, lack of sleep can negatively affect your mood and temperament, as well as your ability to focus on daily tasks.

Melatonin is a hormone in your body that plays a role in sleep. The production and release of melatonin in the brain is connected to time of day, increasing when it’s dark and decreasing when it’s light. Melatonin production declines with age.

Melatonin supplements can treat sleep disorders, and they generally are safe for short-term use. There could be side effects, though, and melatonin supplements can interact with various medications.

Learn more about using a melatonin supplement as a sleep aid from Dr. Brent Bauer, director of Mayo Clinic’s Complementary and Integrative Medicine Program.

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