Careful with the melatonin.
Plus: Recipes to help you recover and feel your best.
"Let food be thy medicine, thy medicine shall be thy food." - Hippocrates
Tuesday. Happy Halloween. Now we are all faced with the quintessential Fall question: what are you supposed to do with all those porch pumpkins after today? Our official Daily Tonic suggestion? Roast the seeds. Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of zinc, magnesium, and potassium. That’s a triple whammy of critical nutrients. Speaking of things that are key to optimizing your health, we talk about sleep a lot on the Daily Tonic. So is taking melatonin a good strategy to boost the quality of your Zzzz’s, or is there something you need to watch out for? Let's dive in.
At this point, any regular reader of the Daily Tonic knows that quality sleep is vital for optimizing your health. So the real question is, what are the top hacks to help you achieve the sleep your body craves?
Melatonin, the “sleep hormone,” has become the go-to remedy for many people struggling to catch some Zs. You can find it in stores as tablets, gummies, and even drinks. But here’s the kicker: a recent study says we should be careful with these supplements, mainly because the amount of melatonin inside may not match the label.
Melatonin is naturally made by a tiny part of your brain called the pineal gland. It helps you feel sleepy when it gets dark and keeps you awake when it’s light out. Some folks have turned to melatonin supplements to help reset their sleep patterns. Maybe you’re one of them. The question, though, is whether it actually works the way we think it does.
Dr. Peter Attia and other experts are cautioning people about how much melatonin they take. See, our bodies naturally produce a very tiny amount of melatonin—less than 0.1 milligrams (mg) each night. However, some over-the-counter supplements have doses that range from 1 to 20 mg. That’s a lot more melatonin than your body naturally makes. Like A LOT more…
A 2023 study looked at 25 different melatonin products, and researchers made some surprising discoveries. First, a product that claimed to have melatonin didn’t have any at all but had something else in it: CBD. Second, almost 90% of the products had more melatonin than what their labels said, some by a whole lot.
One product actually had 347% more melatonin than its label claimed. This could mean people are taking way more melatonin than they think, which is no bueno. Too much of it could mess up how your body naturally makes and uses melatonin. It might also lead to other problems like headaches and drowsiness.
The study also raises concerns about how these supplements are not checked by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Because of that, we’re left to guess what’s really in these products. For this reason, experts suggest using melatonin only in some instances, like jet lag, and even then, using minimal doses.
So, what should you do if you’re looking for better sleep and melatonin is off the table? Lowering the lights and avoiding screens like your phone or TV before bedtime can naturally help your body produce its own melatonin. And the best part is this option won’t put you at risk of any side effects.
The key takeaway? Melatonin isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for sleep issues. We need to be smart and cautious about how we use it, especially when we don’t have clear guidelines from health authorities or strict regulations policing most of these products. Just because it’s available at your local store doesn’t mean it’s entirely safe or effective for long-term use.
Maybe it’s time to go back to counting sheep or reading a book to help us drift off to dreamland. Perhaps something as simple as avoiding screens could be all we need to get the sleep our bodies need.
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1. We Can All Use A Little Superfood
Spinach and all your favorite superfoods in one. This is a shot that will have you feeling your best in no time!
2. Wild Rice And Turkey? Yes, Please!
This recipe has it all and is perfect as the temperatures start to dip. Enjoy.
3. A Dessert Option You Will Love
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