Melatonin, an over-the-counter sleep aid, is a hormone naturally produced by the body to regulate sleep. It is now available in spray form, which claim to promote faster and longer-lasting sleep. But does it actually work? This article will provide a closer look at melatonin sprays and offer guidance on their usage.
Melatonin spray is a convenient way to take melatonin, but it's important to choose a high-quality product and use it as directed.
Melatonin spray may help people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, but it's not a cure-all for insomnia.
Melatonin spray is generally safe for most adults, but it can cause side effects such as drowsiness, nausea, and headache.
Children should only take melatonin spray under the supervision of a doctor.
What is melatonin spray?
Melatonin spray is a type of melatonin that can be bought without a prescription to aid in falling asleep. Melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland in the brain that helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle. There are different forms of melatonin supplements available, and one option is using sprays. Some sprays may also include essential oils, magnesium, and other vitamins, which some believe can enhance their ability to promote better sleep.
Melatonin sprays come in two main types: nasal and oral. Nasal sprays deliver melatonin directly to the nasal and throat mucous membranes, which have a rich blood vessel supply. Oral sprays, on the other hand, deliver melatonin directly to the mucosal membranes of the mouth, which are also rich in blood vessels.
When you spray melatonin into your nose or mouth, it is absorbed into the bloodstream and travels to the brain. In the brain, melatonin binds to receptors that regulate sleep. This type of delivery allows for a higher bioavailability and faster absorption of melatonin.
Effectiveness of melatonin spray
Studies have demonstrated that melatonin may be beneficial for individuals facing sleep difficulties and improve the overall quality of sleep. Specifically, the spray form of melatonin has shown promising results in comparison to placebos. The rationale behind using oral or nasal melatonin spray is that it bypasses liver metabolism during absorption, allowing more melatonin to enter the bloodstream. However, further research is still needed to fully understand and optimize its effectiveness.
In a review conducted in 2016, it was discovered that the absorption rate of intranasal administration was faster compared to the oral version. When compared to taking melatonin capsules or pill, participants who used oral melatonin spray had a higher availability of melatonin in their blood work.
A 2012 study showed that there was no significant difference between the oral sprays vs the oral pills. This study randomly assigned 8 people to receive 5 mg of oral spray or oral melatonin (tablet) once, collected blood plasma 6 hours later, and analyzed it to compare the two formulations.
It's crucial to understand that melatonin spray is not a universal solution for insomnia. If you consistently struggle with sleep issues, it's important to consult your doctor and explore other potential treatment options.
How to use melatonin spray
Using melatonin spray is easy. Just spray the recommended amount into either your nose or mouth. Remember to check the label for the specific dosage instructions, as they may vary depending on the product you use.
The typical onset of action for melatonin spray is generally 30 minutes to an hour after administration. This rapid onset makes it a convenient option for individuals seeking a fast-acting sleep aid. It is best to take melatonin spray about 30 minutes before bedtime. This will give it enough time to start working before you try to fall asleep.
When it comes to choosing between nasal and oral sprays, the decision ultimately falls to personal preference. Both options are considered effective when used as directed.
Melatonin spray safety
Melatonin is generally considered safe to use, with minimal side effects. It is important to note that melatonin can induce sleepiness, so it is advised not to engage in any activities other than sleeping after taking it. Driving or operating heavy machinery should be avoided following a dose of melatonin.
It is advised to avoid combining melatonin with any other sedatives or substances, including alcohol. Doing so can intensify the effects of melatonin and may lead to an overdose.
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is important to consult with your doctor before taking melatonin. This is because melatonin has not been tested specifically in individuals who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you have any autoimmune disease, seizure disorder, are taking blood pressure medication, or have diabetes, it is important to consult with your doctor before considering melatonin as a supplement.
Melatonin does have side effects, including:
- Respiratory depression
If you experience any side effects from melatonin spray, stop using it and talk to your doctor.
Child safety with melatonin spray
While melatonin is sometimes suggested for children and teenagers who struggle to fall asleep, it's important to exercise caution and consult a pediatrician before use. Generally, melatonin spray is deemed safe for children aged three and above. Nevertheless, it's crucial to have a discussion with your doctor prior to administering melatonin spray to your child.
The appropriate dosage of melatonin spray for children depends on their age and weight. It is crucial to follow your doctor's instructions carefully. Additionally, there may be certain conditions in children where melatonin is not suitable. If your child is experiencing difficulty sleeping, it is advisable to consult with a pediatrician first.
Other supplements with melatonin
To enhance its effectiveness, melatonin is frequently combined with other over-the-counter products. These combinations may include essential oils, magnesium, and additional vitamins. Herbal extracts can also be utilized in combination with melatonin.
You can find a wide range of melatonin products, including:
- Drinking powder
- Oral spray
- Nasal spray
- Skin patch
If you're struggling with sleep, you may consider using melatonin spray as a possible solution. However, it's crucial to consult your doctor before using it, especially if you have any underlying health issues or are taking other medications. Melatonin spray is widely accessible in most drug stores and can aid in falling asleep and staying asleep.
Which melatonin spray is better for sleep?
Both oral and nasal sprays may be effective on sleep. Make sure to choose a spray that shows the amount of melatonin listed in the ingredients, so you know you are choosing a quality product.
Can you overdose on melatonin?
Yes, you can overdose on melatonin. Overdose symptoms include nausea, vomiting, lethargy, low blood pressure, and dizziness. If you feel you may have ingested too much melatonin, you should consult your nearest emergency center.
What ingredients should I look for?
When looking for good ingredients in a melatonin spray, you should keep an eye out for melatonin, magnesium, vitamins, and natural minerals and extracts. The strengths and percentages should be listed as well, so you know what you are buying.
- Bioequivalence & Bioavailability. Bioavailability of a New Oral Spray Melatonin Emulsion Compared with a Standard Oral Formulation in Healthy Volunteers.
- Frontiers Psychiatry. International Expert Opinions and Recommendations on the Use of Melatonin in the Treatment of Insomnia and Circadian Sleep Disturbances in Adult Neuropsychiatric Disorders.
- Drug Research. Pharmacokinetics of Alternative Administration Routes of Melatonin: A Systematic Review.
- Johns Hopkins Medicine. Melatonin for Sleep: Does It Work?
- Nutrition Journal. The effectiveness of melatonin for promoting healthy sleep: a rapid evidence assessment of the literature.