You may have heard about melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate our sleep. It's commonly used as a supplement to improve sleep.
But did you know that melatonin can have negative effects on your brain health? In this article, we'll uncover the secrets behind melatonin and explore how it may unintentionally harm your brain.
Let's take a closer look at these lesser-known aspects and understand how melatonin can impact your brain in ways you might not expect.
Messing Up Your Sleep Schedule:
Melatonin is important for keeping our sleep-wake cycles in balance. However, using it in the wrong way or taking too much can mess up your natural sleep schedule. This can make you feel sleepy during the day, have trouble concentrating, and affect your thinking abilities. 1
Becoming Dependent on Melatonin:
Regularly using melatonin supplements might make your body depend on them. This means your brain may stop producing melatonin naturally. Depending too much on external melatonin can disrupt your brain's ability to regulate sleep on its own, causing problems in the long run. 2
Upsetting Hormone Levels:
Melatonin interacts with different hormones in your body, like estrogen and testosterone, which are responsible for things like reproduction and sex drive. Using melatonin for a long time or in large amounts can mess up the balance of these hormones, potentially affecting your fertility, libido, and overall hormone health. 3
Affecting Your Thinking Abilities:
Although melatonin is often seen as a sleep aid, it can have unintended effects on your thinking abilities. Some studies suggest that using melatonin during the day or taking too much can actually make it harder to remember things and pay attention. People with certain brain conditions like dementia or Parkinson's disease might experience worse cognitive symptoms when using melatonin. 4
Interactions with Medications and Health Issues:
Melatonin can interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners or medicines for diabetes and high blood pressure. If you have other health conditions or take medications, it's important to talk to a doctor before using melatonin. These interactions can have unexpected consequences for both your brain health and overall well-being. 5, 6
While melatonin is known for its sleep benefits, it has a hidden side that you need to be aware of. Its potential negative effects on brain health, including disrupting sleep schedules, dependency, hormone imbalances, impaired thinking abilities, and interactions with medications and health issues, highlight the importance of using melatonin with caution.
Talking to a healthcare professional and exploring other sleep-promoting strategies, like improving your sleep routine and managing stress, can offer more sustainable ways to support your brain health and get better sleep.