Can you take melatonin for anxiety? Read the article to find out all the details about how melatonin is used for anxiety and other conditions.
You’ve probably heard of people using melatonin as an aid for better sleep. This hormone plays a crucial role in your natural sleep-wake cycle, but there’s a lot of confusion regarding its use for anxiety. Can you use melatonin to help with anxiety? Is it effective?
While some research suggests that melatonin supplements can be helpful in treating sleep disorders, their effect on anxiety has not been studied in-depth.
Nevertheless, it is known that melatonin can help with reducing anxiety before surgical or medical procedures. Before we dive into the topic of using melatonin for general anxiety and other anxiety disorders, let’s take a close look at the way this hormone works.
How Does Melatonin Work?
Melatonin is naturally produced in our bodies by the pineal gland, which is located in the middle portion of our brain. This gland is controlled by a group of neurons called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). These neurons are responsible for managing your body’s natural clock.
During the daylight hours, your eyes absorb light and send signals to the SCN, which then, in turn, tells your pineal gland to stop producing melatonin to keep you energized and awake. At night, when there is no light, the SCN sends the signal to the pineal gland that it is time to start releasing melatonin.
Once your body’s melatonin levels rise, your blood pressure and body temperature decrease, preparing your body for a good night’s rest.
Melatonin for Anxiety: Does It Help?
Research has shown that melatonin can be effective at reducing anxiety before medical procedures or surgery. Yet, it is still not clear whether melatonin can help with other forms of anxiety, including social anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, or panic attacks. We will talk about this a bit more in detail later in the article.
If you are looking for ways to manage your anxiety, consider going through the list of the best-rated anxiety rings.
Should I Take Melatonin If I Have Anxiety?
If your anxiety is worsened by the poor quality of sleep, supplementing with melatonin can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer during nights. Getting quality sleep is a crucial factor in treating your anxiety and improving your wellbeing. Good night’s sleep can give you the energy to pursue other ways to manage your anxiety levels, like exercise, therapy, or meditation. So, indirectly, melatonin can help reduce your anxiety by stabilizing your sleep-wake cycle.
However, taking melatonin during the day to help with your anxiety is something that is not proven effective yet. If you experience problems with falling asleep and staying asleep during the night, talk to your doctor and ask if you could start taking melatonin before night hours.
Can Melatonin Worsen Anxiety?
Yes, it is possible that melatonin can increase anxiety levels in rare cases. Despite being very helpful for balancing our body’s natural sleep cycle, melatonin, like many other supplements, has its side effects, which can include headache, dizziness, mild anxiety, irritability, reduced alertness, mild tremor, hypotension, confusion, or disorientation.
Since melatonin can cause daytime drowsiness, it is not recommended to drive or use machinery within five hours of taking the supplement.
Can Melatonin Help You Relax?
Often called the “sleep hormone”, melatonin is known to help people fall asleep faster. However, melatonin alone can’t make you fall asleep – it just works to prepare your body for nighttime, helping you relax.
Related: Adderall For Anxiety.
Does Melatonin Help With Anxiety During the Day?
While melatonin can certainly help you alleviate some anxiety symptoms whenever you are falling asleep, many doctors advise against taking it for anxiety during the day. Instead, you can consider some of the following solutions for use during the daytime (make sure to check with your doctor for allergies before):
- (gamma-aminobutyric acid) GABA supplements
- lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
- chamomile tea
- lavender tea
- catnip tea
- vitamin B-complex
- vitamin D3
- omega-3 (fish oil)
Can You Take Melatonin With Anxiety Meds?
Melatonin supplements can interact with several different medications, including:
- Anticoagulants and anti-platelet drugs
- Contraceptive drugs
- Diabetes medications
- Medications that suppress the immune system (immunosuppressants)
If you are considering taking melatonin, you need to make sure to check with your doctor first. She or he can help you decide whether this supplement is safe to use in your case.
In conclusion, melatonin is not an anti-anxiety medication and should not be taken as one. However, this hormone can alleviate some of the anxious symptoms when your body is feeling exhausted from poor sleep. If you want to start taking melatonin to fall asleep faster, talk to your doctor to find out the recommended dosage.