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Woman waking up after enjoying melatonin-based gummies for sleep

New Way to Enjoy Melatonin

People often crave something tasty to chew on before bedtime. A sugar-free strawberry-flavored gummy enables individuals to dose their melatonin based on how many gummies they ingest at bedtime.

Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in May 2022. Written by: Michael Downey.

Melatonin has helped many people sleep better.1

But not all those who suffer sleep issues derive perceivable benefits.

A delicious new way to boost individualized melatonin levels is available in the form of a vegetarian, sugar-free gummy.

This article describes how melatonin functions to improve sleep and how you may better derive these benefits.

The Dangers of Inadequate Sleep

Getting too little sleep doesn’t just leave people fatigued. Inadequate sleep is associated with increased risk of:2,3

In addition, people with sleep problems often have a disrupted circadian rhythm, the body’s internal clock. Misalignment of this sleep/wake cycle disrupts and impairs many psychological and physiological functions, which may increase the risk of metabolic disorders.4,5

It’s critical to get sufficient sleep and keep your circadian rhythm in tune.

What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone that regulates circadian rhythm and promotes healthy sleep patterns.1

Studies have found that the pineal gland’s secretion of melatonin decreases with age, which can make it more difficult to get quality sleep.6,7

Use of computers, cell phones, tablets, and other devices exposes users to blue light, which also decreases melatonin levels.8

Melatonin has been shown to improve the onset, duration, and quality of sleep.9-11

Many Americans today take melatonin before bedtime.12

A Sugar-Free Option

Melatonin capsules, tablets, or drops have become part of the nightly regimen for many aging adults.

Scientists have now developed a convenient way to supplement with melatonin—a great-tasting, easy-to-chew, vegetarian-friendly gummy.

Some people like chewing on something tasty before bedtime, and melatonin gummies have become enormously popular.

There are some problems with commercial gummies, however.

Take a look at any gummy label in the store. Many of these gummy supplements contain high amounts of sugar as the first ingredient.

Sugar inflicts a myriad of deleterious effects, including impeding restorative sleep.13

The new gummies are different. Each tasty gummy provides 3 mg of melatonin and is 100% sugar-free.

So, you can chew on the number of gummies that provide a low-calorie way of satisfying hunger while individually dosing the amount of melatonin that works best for you.

Many will find it a delicious way to get ready for bed.

Melatonin Promotes Healthy Sleep in Five Ways

In human studies, scientists have demonstrated that melatonin improves five parameters of sleep.

Clinical studies suggest that taking oral melatonin:9-11

  • Reduces sleep onset latency, the time between lights out and falling asleep,
  • Increases sleep efficiency, the percentage of time we spend asleep while in bed,
  • Increases total sleep time, time spent asleep after sleep onset,
  • Reduces wakefulness after sleep onset, time spent awake after sleep begins, and
  • Synchronizes and maintains a healthy circadian rhythm, to promote healthy sleep patterns.

In one meta-analysis of 17 studies involving a total of 284 volunteers, researchers found that, on average, melatonin use significantly:9

  • Reduced sleep onset latency by 4.0 minutes,
  • Increased sleep efficiency by 2.2%, and
  • Increased total sleep time by 12.8 minutes.

Syncing Circadian Rhythm

Nearly every cell in our body has an internal “clock” which is governed by a “master clock” in the brain that responds to changes in light exposure and helps create and maintain our circadian rhythm.14

Among other functions, circadian rhythm regulates our sleep-wake cycle. The body increases melatonin levels as light levels fall in the evening and lowers melatonin levels as light levels rise around daybreak.14

If circadian rhythm becomes disrupted, as may happen with age, this cycle can become impaired.

A study from the prestigious journal Lancet Psychiatry revealed that disrupted circadian rhythms are associated not only with sleep disturbances, but also with an increased risk of depression and bipolar disorder.15

Endogenous melatonin plays a critical role in keeping this central clock in sync with the environment, maintaining our circadian rhythm and improving sleep.16,17

Oral melatonin has also been used to help synchronize the circadian rhythm in blind individuals whose bodies have been unable to synchronize with the day-night cycle.18

Help for Insomnia Sufferers

Insomnia is defined as difficulty initiating or maintaining refreshing sleep. It can have a drastic effect on daily life and health.

Low melatonin levels have been linked to insomnia, particularly in the elderly. Clinical studies have reported serum melatonin levels to be significantly lower (and the time of peak melatonin values delayed) in elderly subjects with insomnia compared with age-matched normal controls.19

A meta-analysis of 14 randomized controlled trials, of which insomnia was the primary diagnosis in 12 studies, found that people with insomnia who took melatonin had reduced sleep onset latency (the time it takes to fall asleep).20

Another review found that oral melatonin provided a significant improvement in both sleep onset latency and total sleep time in those suffering from insomnia.21

What you need to know

Get a Better Night’s Sleep

  • An age-related decline in melatonin levels can interfere with falling and staying asleep.
  • Inadequate sleep is associated with the risk of obesity, type II diabetes, stroke, premature death, and more.
  • Taking oral melatonin at night helps people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer
  • Melatonin can also improve quality of sleep for patients with insomnia and help relieve symptoms of jet lag.
  • Melatonin is now available in a great-tasting vegetarian gummy that is sugar-free.

Relief for Jet Lag

The energy-sapping effects of jet lag are a symptom of disrupted circadian rhythm.22

Your body doesn’t recognize the change when you fly into new time zones. As a result, the body’s rhythms are suddenly out of step with the day-night cycle at your destination.

Oral melatonin can help to get your circadian rhythm back on schedule.

One review found that oral melatonin, taken close to the target bedtime at the destination (10 pm to midnight), was remarkably effective in preventing or reducing jet lag.23

Similarly, melatonin may help shift workers adjust their sleep timing after a shift rotation. 24

These and other benefits make melatonin a safe, effective way to relieve sleep problems and promote optimal sleep.

Summary

Difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep can be caused by an age-related decline in levels of melatonin.6,7

Not getting enough sleep is associated with a higher risk of obesity, diabetes, cognitive decline, stroke, shortened telomeres, and premature death.2,3

Taking oral melatonin at night has been shown to improve five different aspects of sleep, helping to support overall health.9-11

Scientists have developed a vegetarian, sugar-free gummy—a delicious new way to boost nighttime melatonin levels.

If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension Wellness Specialist at 1-866-864-3027.

References

  1. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK534823/. Accessed March 28, 2022
  2. Available at: https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/sleep/conditioninfo/inadequate-sleep. Accessed March 28, 2022.
  3. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK19961/. Accessed March 28, 2022.
  4. Cable J, Schernhammer E, Hanlon EC, et al. Sleep and circadian rhythms: pillars of health-a Keystone Symposia report. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2021 Dec;1506(1):18-34.
  5. Potter GD, Skene DJ, Arendt J, et al. Circadian Rhythm and Sleep Disruption: Causes, Metabolic Consequences, and Countermeasures. Endocr Rev. 2016 Dec;37(6):584-608.
  6. Kennaway DJ, Lushington K, Dawson D, et al. Urinary 6-sulfatoxymelatonin excretion and aging: new results and a critical review of the literature. J Pineal Res. 1999 Nov;27(4):210-20.
  7. Zhou JN, Liu RY, van Heerikhuize J, et al. Alterations in the circadian rhythm of salivary melatonin begin during middle-age. J Pineal Res. 2003 Jan;34(1):11-6.
  8. Tahkamo L, Partonen T, Pesonen AK. Systematic review of light exposure impact on human circadian rhythm. Chronobiol Int. 2019 Feb;36(2):151-70.
  9. Brzezinski A, Vangel MG, Wurtman RJ, et al. Effects of exogenous melatonin on sleep: a meta-analysis. Sleep Med Rev. 2005 Feb;9(1):41-50.
  10. Garfinkel D, Laudon M, Nof D, et al. Improvement of sleep quality in elderly people by controlled-release melatonin. Lancet. 1995 Aug 26;346(8974):541-4.
  11. Xie Z, Chen F, Li WA, et al. A review of sleep disorders and melatonin. Neurol Res. 2017 Jun;39(6):559-65.
  12. Li J, Somers VK, Xu H, et al. Trends in Use of Melatonin Supplements Among US Adults, 1999-2018. JAMA. 2022 Feb 1;327(5):483-5.
  13. Available at: https://www.sleepfoundation.org/physical-health/sleep-and-blood-glucose-levels. Accessed April 5, 2002.
  14. Pandi-Perumal SR, Cardinali DP, Zaki NFW, et al. Timing is everything: circadian rhythms and their role in the control of sleep. Front Neuroendocrinol. 2022 Jan 13:100978.
  15. Lyall LM, Wyse CA, Graham N, et al. Association of disrupted circadian rhythmicity with mood disorders, subjective wellbeing, and cognitive function: a cross-sectional study of 91 105 participants from the UK Biobank. Lancet Psychiatry. 2018 Jun;5(6):507-14.
  16. Albrecht U. Timing to perfection: the biology of central and peripheral circadian clocks. Neuron. 2012 Apr 26;74(2):246-60.
  17. Pevet P. The internal time-giver role of melatonin. A key for our health. Rev Neurol (Paris). 2014 Nov;170(11):646-52.
  18. Emens JS, Eastman CI. Diagnosis and Treatment of Non-24-h Sleep-Wake Disorder in the Blind. Drugs. 2017 Apr;77(6):637-50.
  19. Cardinali DP, Srinivasan V, Brzezinski A, et al. Melatonin and its analogs in insomnia and depression. J Pineal Res. 2012 May;52(4):365-75.
  20. Buscemi N, Vandermeer B, Hooton N, et al. The efficacy and safety of exogenous melatonin for primary sleep disorders. A meta-analysis. J Gen Intern Med. 2005 Dec;20(12):1151-8.
  21. Low TL, Choo FN, Tan SM. The efficacy of melatonin and melatonin agonists in insomnia - An umbrella review. J Psychiatr Res. 2020 Feb;121:10-23.
  22. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/jet-lag/symptoms-causes/syc-20374027. Accessed March 29, 2022.
  23. Herxheimer A, Petrie KJ. Melatonin for the prevention and treatment of jet lag. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2002 (2):CD001520.
  24. Sadeghniiat-Haghighi K, Bahrami H, Aminian O, et al. Melatonin therapy in shift workers with difficulty falling asleep: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover field study. Work. 2016 Sep 27;55(1):225-30.