At some point in their lives, millions of people worldwide struggle with sleeping. More and more different types of products are coming out to help people get better rest. One of the more recent products on the market is sleep patches; in this post, we will explain what they are and how they function.
A sleep patch is an adhesive patch that sticks to your skin and has medications to help you sleep.
The patches can be made with several combinations of different sleep products to help you sleep.
Sleep patches are not approved or regulated by the FDA.
What are sleep patches?
Sleep patches are transdermal patches infused with medication that is absorbed through the skin. The patch contains ingredients to induce sleep and has a sticky side that is applied to the skin.
Most sleep patches are made with melatonin, a naturally occurring hormone that is released when it is time to sleep. They can be infused with a range of different ingredients to assist in falling asleep, including CBD or magnesium.
Typically, one side of them is composed of fabric or malleable plastic; variations in brands may occur in terms of dimensions, forms, hues, and patterns. The other side has an adhesive backing that can be made from various materials that include the ingredients of the patch.
The active ingredients in the sleep patches can vary from brand to brand but can include a variation of the following, but are not limited to:
- Other various herbs and vitamins
- Valerian root
Sleep patches are often used to help people fall asleep if they have trouble sleeping, have jet lag, and are considered non-habit forming. It is crucial to remember that the FDA neither regulates nor approves sleep patches.
Benefits of sleep patches
Sleep patches are widely accessible online and in retail pharmacies. They are considered easy to use and have minimal side effects if used appropriately.
The ingredients in the patch absorb into your skin and subsequently enter your bloodstream while it is left on your skin. The skin is excellent at absorbing substances applied to it.
Our bodies naturally produce less and less of the hormone melatonin as we get older, but using a sleep patch could help us absorb more of the hormone and get a better night's sleep. You can choose which sleep aids to use based on your needs thanks to their additional benefits.
If you are experiencing difficulty falling and staying asleep, go for one that contains melatonin. In order to promote sleep, magnesium affects your nervous system and eases muscle tension. GABA has calming or anxiolytic effects, which makes it simpler to go to sleep. Another popular component that is frequently seen in sleep aid patches is CBD.
Using sleep patches
To use a sleep patch, make sure you follow the instructions based on the manufactured packaging, as each may be slightly different to activate.
Usually, it is applied to your skin like a sticker and has an adhesive backing. This is how the ingredients are directly absorbed into your skin. The patch may have a film on it to protect the adhesive before use that needs to be removed first.
You will want to place the patch on an area that has little to no hair so it touches your skin directly. You might have to shave a patch of hair if necessary, but avoid putting it in your eyes or other sensitive spots.
Depending on the manufacturer's instructions, the patch can normally be worn for 6 to 12 hours. Melatonin takes 20 to 40 minutes to begin acting and peaks after an hour. Because the patches are absorbed through the skin, the melatonin can continue to function for several hours.
The effects of any medication you take depend on the dosage and how you take it. The amount of an active ingredient that enters your bloodstream is known as the medication's bioavailability. When melatonin is applied topically, such as in patches or sprays, its bioavailability appears to be higher.
Once you wake up in the morning, you can remove the patch from your skin and then toss it out. Most of the patches are made to be worn once and then thrown away. If you have any leftover sticky residue on your skin, wash it off with soap and water.
Sleep patches and sleep quality
Studies on sleep patches in general are not readily available, but some have been conducted on patches that contain just melatonin. This is because the concept of sleep patches is new and still needs to be researched for its effectiveness and safety.
One particular study done in 2009 gave melatonin patches to those who sleep during the day, measured the amount of melatonin available in their blood, and tested their sleep by monitoring their brainwaves. While there was no significant difference in the brainwaves when taking transdermal versus oral melatonin, there was a higher amount of melatonin in the blood for a longer period of time with the transdermal. The study also noted that the female participants had a higher amount of melatonin in their blood than males did.
Melatonin, in general, though, has positive results when it comes to being a sleep aid, despite the route, in multiple studies. Every person has different reasons why they may be having difficulty sleeping, and melatonin may not work for everyone, though.
Side effects and safety of sleep patches
Although sleeping patches are generally regarded as safe, there may be risks and side effects, such as:
- Skin irritation at the application site
Melatonin and sleep patches have not been tested on pregnant and breastfeeding women. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should consult with your obstetrician before using this product. In addition, while melatonin may be safe for kids in certain amounts, you should do your homework before giving your child sleep patches because they contain a number of different ingredients. Always consult your pediatrician before giving your kid any new medications when in doubt.
It is important to note that the FDA has not approved sleep patches, so if you are pregnant, see a doctor before using them. Also, patch ingredients can vary from brand to brand, so reviewing all ingredients for safety is essential.
Sleep patches can be a safe and effective way to get a good night's rest. They are easy to use and have relatively few side effects. More research on patches needs to be done, but so far, the outlook is positive with the amazing absorption ability of our skin. Be sure to check the safety reviews of any new over-the-counter medication you plan to use before using it.
How many sleep patches do I use?
Generally, you only need one patch for the night, so follow the directions on the package. Melatonin can be overtaken, so make sure you do not take more than what is prescribed.
Can you reuse sleep patches?
Most sleep patches are designed to be used once and then thrown away the next morning when you wake. As you sleep, the medicine is absorbed through your skin and may not have the desired effects the next time if reused.
How long does it take for sleep patches to work?
It should only take around 20-40 minutes for the medication to be absorbed through your skin and about an hour to take full effect. The true time may depend on the type of medicine being used and how quick its onset is once it hits the bloodstream.
- Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics. Use of transdermal melatonin delivery to improve sleep maintenance during daytime.
- Stat Pearls. Melatonin.
- Drug Research. Pharmacokinetics of Alternative Administration Routes of Melatonin: A Systematic Review.
- Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Transmucosal, Oral Controlled-Release, and Transdermal Drug Administration in Human Subjects: A Crossover Study with Melatonin.