Question: Is melatonin safe as a sleep aid and does it have any long-term dangers?
Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Melatonin is secreted by our pineal glands and plays a role in sleep regulation and adjustment of your intrinsic time clock. Oral melatonin is largely destroyed in our gastrointestinal tract before absorption.
Its use has been shown to be most effective in dealing with jet lag prevention, but as a general sleep aid it has been disappointing. There are, however, melatonin agonist medications (such as Rozerem), available by prescription, that produce a melatonin-like effect, and do induce sleep in some people at recommended doses.
There are no significant long term dangers that we know of.
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