Weekly we will be posting summaries from news articles on Melatonin.
7 Feb. 2017 – Can’t sleep? A good night’s sleep best for well-being during waking hours- Fox 61
“In a survey of over 4,000 people, 20 percent of people used sleeping pills within the past year and 20 percent of them used it daily for over a year. These drugs can be effective for short-term use, up to 14 days, but not for long-term use. Over the counter sleep aids contain an antihistamine which can make people sleepy and many contain a pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. When used for the short-term, they are very safe products. “
“ Don’t wait 14 days, starting on day one you should improve your sleep hygiene. No TV, computer, or smartphone use an hour before bedtime; use the sleep mode on your smartphone in the later evening so you have less exposure to the blue light spectrum; making your room very dark while you sleep; going to sleep when you feel tired and not pushing it an extra 30 minutes; and resolving underlying issues such as pain or life stressors wherever possible. If you cannot do it yourself, there are sleep specialists that can work on cognitive behavioral techniques that can help so if you are one of the long-term sufferers of insomnia, ask your doctor if this could be right for you.”
2 Feb. 2017 – Melatonin: Just for Sleep? Think Again…Here Comes Your Heartburn’s Worst Enemy – Huffington Post
“For those of you with heartburn, I’m sure you’ve been told by doctors that heartburn can be worse at night because you’re lying down. Imagine if the supplement you use for sleep can also help with heartburn. In a study published in 2010 by Kandil et. al., melatonin was seen to help with heartburn. 36 patients were divided into 4 groups, the control group, melatonin alone for therapy, omeprazole plus melatonin and omeprazole alone for 4 and 8 weeks. Each group consisted of 9 patients and each patient was subjected to medical history, physical exam, lab work, endoscopic evaluation, esophageal motility study, pH measurement, basal acid output measurement and serum gastrin level. The results showed that melatonin helped with heartburn better than the control group but omeprazole got better results. Essentially, the three therapy groups all showed improvement of heartburn compared to the group that received no therapy. if you are not using heartburn medication and don’t want to, you could use melatonin to help with some of your symptoms.”
11 Jan. 2017 –You Asked: What’s the Best Sleeping Pill? – Markam Heid – Time Health
“Pills are a bandage, not a cure, says Dr. Phyllis Zee, professor of neurology and sleep medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. ‘It’s like taking Tylenol every day for a fever without ever figuring out what’s causing the fever,’ Zee says. Depression, too little exercise, runaway stress and a hundred other major or minor health issues could be causing or contributing to your sleeping woes. When you attack your problem with pills, you do nothing to resolve those underlying problems, she explains.”
“Melatonin is a mellower option. But while many people think of the hormone as natural and “something my body makes anyway,” it’s still something that should only be used for temporary relief, says Dr. Andrew Weil, founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. “Short-term use of melatonin has a good safety profile in adults,” Weil says. But the side effects of long-term or heavy usage aren’t well known.”
9 Dec. 2015 “College football: Tennessee experiments with high-tech sleep monitors”
Salt Lake Tribune
“Knoxville, Tenn. • About an hour before a Tennessee football player’s scheduled bedtime, he gets a reminder via an app on his phone or a text message. That’s when he puts on orange glasses that block out the glow of smartphones or computer screens, making it easier to fall asleep. All the players have been given sleeping masks as well. Some have sensors above their mattresses and under their sheets to monitor heart rate, movement and respiration rate to detect their quality and quantity of sleep. The idea is that if they sleep better each night, they’ll work better the following day.”
By studying sleep cycles and performance researchers can discover how quality of sleep can affect performance in school and everyday life.
11 Feb 2015 A Third of Americans Use Alternative Medicine CNN
About a third of Americans seek help for their health in a place that is outside their doctor’s office. That’s according to two new studies from the National Institutes of Health. The adult use of melatonin more than doubled from 2007 to 2012. For children it was the second-most used natural product. The body naturally creates melatonin to help regulate the sleep cycle. People who have trouble falling asleep use it, as do people who struggle with jet lag. Some people also report using it to fight cancer. The research is still underway, but some studies have shown melatonin can help children who have trouble falling asleep. It may also help older people, which is good news, because sleep problems do seem to grow with age.
31 Oct. 2016 “Study: Cellphone Screens Are Keeping Kids Awake” Susan Scutti CNN
“These days, teachers often face classrooms filled with yawning students who stayed up late snapping selfies or playing online games. For children and teens, using cellphones, tablets and computers at night is associated with losing sleep time and sleep quality, new research finds. Even children who don’t use their phones or the other technologies littering their bedrooms at night are losing shut-eye and becoming prone to daylight sleepiness, the analysis published today in JAMA Pediatrics finds. The analysis found “a consistent pattern of effect across a wide range of countries and settings,” said Dr. Ben Carter, lead author and a senior lecturer in biostatistics at King’s College London.”
“Sleep is vital for children,” said Dr. Sujay Kansagra, director of the pediatric neurology sleep medicine program at Duke University Medical Center, who was not involved in the new analysis. “We know that sleep plays a crucial role in brain development, memory, self-regulation, attention, immune function, cardiovascular health and much more.”
15 Aug. 2016 “Is Your Gut Health Affecting Your Sleep?” Julie Revelant FoxNews.com
If you suffer from insomnia, you may have chalked it up to a late-night meal, stress or too much screen time. But new research shows that a healthy gut is not only important for immunity and overall health, but it could also be the secret to a better night’s sleep.
Although the connection between gut health and sleep is always evolving, experts say there are things you can do to keep your digestion healthy and improve your sleep.
Three of these include the following
- Be consistent
- Get your vitamins
- Take probiotics and prebiotics
8 Aug. 2016 “This Red Spectrum Light May Help You Sleep Better” Lindsay Murray – Fox News Health
You’ve heard that late-night exposure to blue light, like the glow from your tech devices, can wreck your sleep. (Shed a tear for all those hours spent scrolling through Instagram under the covers.) But on the flip side, red light may help you catch your z’s more easily, according to sleep psychologist Michael Breus, PhD, author of the new book The Power of When. “The theory is that red light aids melatonin production,” he explains—the hormone that naturally makes you feel drowsier.
But while you’re adding red spectrum lights to your lamps, there’s one place in the bedroom where you probably don’t want to redecorate in shades of red: your sheets. Bedbugs gravitate toward the color, per a recent study in the Journal of Medical Entomology.
The American Medical Association has just adopted an official policy statement about street lighting: cool it and dim it. The statement comes in response to the rise of new LED street lighting sweeping the country.
Street lighting and human health
The AMA has made three recommendations in its new policy statement:
- First, the AMA supports a “proper conversion to community based Light Emitting Diode (LED) lighting, which reduces energy consumption and decreases the use of fossil fuels.”
- Second, the AMA “encourage[s] minimizing and controlling blue-rich environmental lighting by using the lowest emission of blue light possible to reduce glare.”
- Third, the AMA “encourage[s] the use of 3000K or lower lighting for outdoor installations such as roadways. All LED lighting should be properly shielded to minimize glare and detrimental human and environmental effects, and consideration should be given to utilize the ability of LED lighting to be dimmed for off-peak time periods.”
8 Apr. 2016 “Low-Risk Treatment For Kids Suffering From Eczema”, CBS Pittsburgh –
Children suffering from eczema have often had trouble sleeping. Until recently it was thought they couldn’t sleep because they itched. A recent study seems to link melatonin production to both eczema and sleep.
“Researchers noticed levels of the sleep hormone melatonin were low in kids with eczema and sleep problems… The children [in the study] getting melatonin not only fell asleep 21 minutes faster, but their eczema improved. ‘Melatonin is safe to use, even in young children. Even in this study children as young as one year of age were given the melatonin,’ Horvath said.”
25 Sep. 2015 “Using Melatonin to Help Children Fall Asleep”, Huffington Post –
Melatonin supplements can definitely help with children’s sleep problems, but melatonin shouldn’t be used just to make things easy on the parents, or for long periods of time without a doctor’s recommendation. Melatonin should only be given to children who need help sleeping.
“Supplemental melatonin can help children with sleep dysfunction (those who lie awake for hours at bedtime) fall asleep… You want to give melatonin prior to bedtime to help with increasing sleepiness. Most physicians recommend giving about 1-2 hours prior to ideal bedtime when helping little children fall asleep. However, it does depend why and how you plan to use melatonin.”
Oct 22, 2016 – The Right Way To Take Melatonin Supplements, According to a Sleep Doc Kathleen Mulpeter – Fox News,
Chris Winter, MD, medical director of the Martha Jefferson Hospital Sleep Medicine Center and author of the upcoming book The Sleep Solution said the following about Melatonin Supplements and the correct way to take them.
“You should give yourself a time limit, such as for four or five days,” he says, adding that they should be taken for a very specific reason, such as during an unusual bout of insomnia or when you’re traveling across time zones. “When that thing has run its course, you should stop.”
(Photo source- Dr.Winters Twitter profile)
30 Aug. 2016 “Why Psychologists Agree The School Day Should Start Later”, Palmer Patch – Many of us find it difficult to get up in the morning, but it’s especially hard for teens trying to return to the school routine. Teens have a change in their circadian rhythm and seem to favor later bedtimes and later risings.
Two of the psychologists in the article point “to changes in the level of melatonin and other hormonal shifts that alter teens’ natural sleep-wake cycle.”
Small children usually produce enough melatonin and normally go to bed early and also rise early, but this changes as children mature. This is one reason experts are advocating school schedules change to fit this melatonin shift in older children and teens.
28 Aug. 2016 “Back-to-school smarts: Tips, tricks and tools for savvy students”, Vancouver Sun – Experts agree that sleep is important to learning, and too little sleep can affect children’s emotional and physical health.
According to the article “…five-year-olds need 10-13 hours a night, six- to 12-year-olds need nine to 12 hours a night, 13- to 18-year-olds need eight to 10 hours a night and adults need at least eight hours of shut-eye…”
Reducing screen time before bed can increase melatonin production in children and adults and help with natural sleep. Melatonin production is curtailed when children use phones and tablets close to bedtime. To increase melatonin production and aid sleep in children and teens, put the devices away a couple hours before bedtime.
24 Aug. 2016 “Lubbock sleep expert gives back-to-school bedtime tips”,KCBD Lubbock – Behavior issues can be caused by lack of sleep. Children need about 11 hours of sleep per night when in elementary school. Teens should get 9-10 hours. There are many relaxing techniques and habits that can help, like bathing an hour prior to bedtime and reading paper books.
“A routine is very important to children… Another method for sleepless kids is taking melatonin. Rose recommends one to three milligrams for elementary students. ‘You give the melatonin about an hour before bedtime, the bedtime that you want them to have,… and that will help adjust them to their daily schedule.’”
7 Sep. 2016 “5 Science-Backed Ways to Improve Your Sleep Cycle (and Decrease Depression), Parent.co – “It’s no secret that kids who don’t sleep well at night don’t perform well during the day, but a recent article in Science Daily reported that ‘children who experience inadequate or disrupted sleep are more likely to develop depression and anxiety disorders later in life.’”
Sometimes children aren’t producing enough melatonin to sleep well and taking melatonin supplements is one of the ways that can help a child adjust their sleep habits. Melatonin taken in small doses for short periods of time is safe for children.
2 Sep. 2016 “A new treatment can delay effects of Neimann-Pick disease in children”, WNDU Indiana – Neimann-Pick Type “C”… is often referred to as childhood Alzheimer’s because children who develop as normal, healthy babies and toddlers begin showing signs of physical and cognitive decline by the first grade.”
These children often have trouble sleeping, likely because their melatonin production is low. Taking melatonin supplements can help the children sleep.
31 Aug. 2016 “Let There (Not) Be Light! How Technology Can Help You Get Better Sleep”, Fox News – Most of us, especially teens and older children, are very attached to our phones, tablets, and computers. These all emit blue light, which is similar to the sun and staring at them in the evening gives the wrong message to our brains and slows melatonin production.
“ Blue light suppresses our body’s secretion of melatonin, a hormone that tells us it’s time to get sleepy. This artificially alters our circadian rhythm and impacts our mood, behavior, sleep patterns, even our bodily functions…”
Amber light, or warm light doesn’t suppress melatonin. It’s a good idea to put away the phone and tablet in the evening so your natural melatonin production can kick in. If that still doesn’t work, taking melatonin supplements can help.