Friday, July 23, 2010

Dr. Oz Wrong on Melatonin Supplements

Dr. Oz is correct when he says melatonin is the most misused sleep aid in America, unfortunately he’s not helping the issue. In his latest sleep issue segment the television host called the hormone supplement “pretty effective” in regulating sleep. In actuality, there are mixed findings that melatonin supplements actually work.

Research shows up to 1 mg of melatonin may help certain people with insomnia, but the effects are relatively mild. It may help people fall asleep about seven minutes faster than normal. Melatonin wears off quickly, so people with insomnia may have difficult time staying asleep.

An AASM review found the supplement may be useful for treating jet lag, shift work or delayed sleep phase. Melatonin may help correct disrupted circadian rhythms and sleep timing issues.

Try taking melatonin a few days before and after travelling across several time zones or before shift work. There are no serious risks related to melatonin use, but the long term effects are still unknown.

Doctor Oz’s final piece of advice is a better solution for insomnia – make sure to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. If sleeplessness persists try cognitive behavioral therapy. The AASM reports it is the most effective option for treating insomnia.


Martin @ Insomnia Land said...

Thanks for sharing this information. Members of our small insomnia support community repeatedly state that melatonin doesn't help their insomnia. I wonder if those that find real success are simply experiencing the placebo effect?

The attractiveness of melatonin probably lies in the perception that it's 'natural' - but that doesn't mean it comes without side effects. Valerian root is considered a natural insomnia remedy, yet we're told it can lead to liver damage if taken on a long term basis.

The best course of action is, of course, to speak to your doctor or a certified sleep specialist.

Christina said...

I have tried this recently for the first time, and discovered that using 1mg of the time release formula really does help me stay asleep all night. The non- time release formula helped me to fall asleep, but did not improve my sleep for the rest of the night.

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