The gummy culture is exploding; there’s one for every health concern — from hair fall to immunity boosting. And if you are a 30+ adult like me with the palate of a 10-year-old and numerous health-related anxieties, these gummies will excite you. Since good sleep has always been elusive for me, I decided to try out melatonin gummies for sleep, and boy am I confused!
After having read up enough about the sleep-inducing, non-habit forming properties of melatonin supplements, I was finally made the purchase. A month ago, I bought these very brand of gummies from Amazon.
(Pink of Health is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. I earn a small percentage from every purchase made through the affiliate link.)
Before I get talking about my experience, here’s all you need to know about melatonin.
What is melatonin?
Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in response to darkness. Someone called it the “Hormone of darkness.” If that isn’t a cool sobriquet, I don’t know what is. Incidentally, melas is Greek for darkness.1
How does melatonin work?
Melatonin by is secreted in the dark and inhibited by light.2
As mammals (I am guessing you are one since you are here reading), we have a central circadian (24-hour) clock in our suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) of the hypothalamus.2
In simple terms, it’s an internal clock that regulates functions like sleeping, waking up, hunger, etc.
The clock tunes itself to the 24-hour light-dark cycle, adjusting our bodily processes — like the sleep-wake cycle, blood pressure and metabolism — as per environmental cues. The SCN also regulates the pineal gland and the timing of the melatonin secretion.2
What are the benefits of melatonin?
Great question. If your body isn’t producing enough melatonin, you can supplement it in the form of gummies, liquids, strips, patches, suppositories and pills.
These supplements are made of melatonin derived from either pharmaceutical-grade ingredients or the pineal glands of animals.
Melatonin treatment can help problems like sleep disorders, jet lag, insomnia, poor sleep quality, post-traumatic brain injury, shift work, sleep disorders in children, nocturnal hypertension, Alzheimer’s disease, etc., according to placebo-controlled trials.
Melatonin is also being studied for its role in the treatment of cancer, metabolic disorders, cardiovascular diseases, gastric diseases, mental disorders, pain syndromes and reproductive dysfunctions. Neat!
Is it safe to take melatonin gummies?
Melatonin supplements are a tad bit more expensive than regular multivitamins. So I did my research on the potential side effects of melatonin supplements before I went all in.
Most studies say that they are safe and well-tolerated, but there are caveats.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, there isn’t enough information for melatonin supplements, especially those that contain higher doses of the hormone than what the body produces.
But it says that melatonin supplements for short-term use “appears to be safe for most people,” adding that there’s currently no data on long term use.
The website also warned against allergic reactions, interaction with medicines, and safety concerns for breastfeeding and pregnant women. Some supplements may not claim to have melatonin; instead, they may also have serotonin, which can have harmful effects even at low levels.
A 2015 study in Clinical Drug Investigation3 says that melatonin is fine for short-term use even in extreme doses. Some side effects of melatonin include dizziness, headache, nausea and sleepiness (duh!). Some serious ones include agitation, fatigue, mood swings, nightmares, skin irritation and palpitation.4
If you have kidney or liver issues, or autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, melatonin may cause more serious side effects.4
Also Read: Is napping good for health?
My experience with melatonin gummies
I purchased Carbamide Forte’s Mela-Rest brand expecting nothing short of a miracle. Here I am, a few weeks later, surprised, pleased and even a tad bit confused by my experience with melatonin.
Don’t expect the supplements to look like gummy bears. That was my first mistake. These gummies are small square-shaped blocks with a coating of sugar-like crystals. At a look, they resemble the sugar-coated jelly sweets we relished as kids.
The texture is not “gummy” at all. In fact, it disintegrates in your mouth with the slightest pressure. There’s nothing left to chew, which in hindsight isn’t a bad thing.
Since these are bedtime gummies, you don’t want to go to sleep with the sticky sweet residue lodged between your teeth. The gummies literally dissolve in your mouth and you don’t have to brush vigorously afterwards.
As a lover of synthetic raspberry flavour, I enjoyed the taste of these gummies. It’s a flavour that evokes nostalgia and reminds you of the old Ravalgoan candies.
On the first day, I popped one of these 30 minutes before I went to bed. As instructed in the reviews on Amazon, I dimmed the lights and tuned into some train sounds for sleep.
Sleep came swiftly within minutes.
The next day, I woke up on time, at 6 30 am, feeling unremarkable. But I am sure that the gummies did their job.
A disclaimer. These are not habit-forming supplements. On days I missed taking them, I didn’t struggle with sleep. So if you are afraid of developing an addiction, you can put your worries to rest.
I did follow good sleep hygiene on the days I took the supplements. I went to bed on time, dimmed the lights and didn’t look into the phone screen even once.
Now, here’s the confusing part. I don’t know what’s working for me — the gummies or my disciplined bedtime rituals. It could be a simple placebo effect, idk!
In any case, I don’t intend to stop taking these gummies till I exhaust the bottle.
If you intend to try melatonin, do your research first. Zero in on a brand you trust. I picked Carbamide Forte because I have used their Salmon Oil capsules a few years ago.
Next, pick your supplement type — gummies, tablets, patches, strips or liquid. Gummies are easy on the palate but may not be stable and could contain inconsistent levels of ingredients.
If you must take the supplements, support them with good sleep habits. The melatonin won’t work if you insist on using your phone in bed.