Happy February! Can you believe that January is already over? This past month has been full of brand-new endeavors here at Hawkeye Consulting! We have been staying extremely busy; which is why it is very important to make sure that we get enough rest. Speaking of rest, how have you been sleeping this month? Do you or your child have trouble falling or staying asleep?
A lot of people are turning towards melatonin, a hormone that occurs naturally in your body which helps promote sleep. This article states that your pineal gland releases melatonin into your brain throughout certain times of the day; releasing more at night and slowing production when there is light outside. Additionally, melatonin has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It is also thought to be involved with regulating blood pressure, body temperature, and immune function. As you age, melatonin production in your body decreases. A commonly sold dietary supplement for sleep aid, most people have used melatonin at some point in their lives to help them sleep.
There is no official standard safe dosage for melatonin, making it difficult to define what is a safe amount of melatonin to take and what leads to a melatonin overdose. According to Healthline ”young children should avoid melatonin unless otherwise directed by a doctor. Doses between 1 and 5 milligrams (mg) may cause seizures or other complications for young children. In adults, the standard dose used in studies ranges between 1 and 10mg, although there isn’t a definitive ‘best’ dosage. It’s believed doses in the 30mg range may be harmful.” Several case studies reiterate that young children should not be taking melatonin, unless directed by a doctor, as it can disrupt their natural melatonin production cycles and body regulations. Too much melatonin isn’t just harmful for children, it has devasting effects on adult’s health as well by having the opposite effect of its intended purpose. It can make it more difficult to sleep because your normal circadian rhythms has been disrupted by taking the supplement. An overdose of melatonin can also leave you feeling groggy and fatigued during the day and give you nightmares while you try to sleep. You may also experience
Chip Paul, Chief Innovator at GnuPharma, explains that melatonin works by manipulating something called a melatonin receptor. This receptor is sensitive to light and provides some feedback to our CLOCK genes which helps us regulate our sleep/wake cycle. Melatonin is an intermediary signalor and provides negative feedback to your sleep/wake cycle. Meaning that supplementation with melatonin, will, over time, cause your body to slow production of melatonin and result in an inability to regulate sleep/wake. Further, melatonin plays an important role in how we deal with oxidative stress in the brain and a deficiency of melatonin can lead to other severe issues. A better regulator of our sleep/wake functions is an endocannabinoid called oleomide. This endocannabinoid will build in our spine until we sleep. It influences higher order genetics and also influences CLOCK genes. Oleomide is easy to supplement. Olive oil contains oleic acid; which gets immediately turned to oleomide in your intestinal lumen. This means that a tablespoon of olive oil will assist with your overall sleep/wake cycle and be less severe than supplementing with melatonin.