Dr. David Brownstein, M.D
Dr. David Brownstein,  editor of Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health newsletter, is a board-certified family physician and one of the nation’s foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally to physicians and others about his success with natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practice. His books include Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do!; Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It; Salt Your Way To Health; The Miracle of Natural Hormones; Overcoming Arthritis, Overcoming Thyroid Disorders; The Guide to a Gluten-Free Diet; and The Guide to Healthy Eating. He is the medical director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, Mich., where he lives with his wife, Allison, and their teenage daughters, Hailey and Jessica.

Tags: sleep | melatonin | prostate | dr. brownstein

Does Melatonin Really Help You Sleep?

David Brownstein, M.D. By Tuesday, 28 May 2024 04:13 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Insomnia is one of the most common complaints I hear from patients. Melatonin is a hormone produced and secreted at night, during darkness. This occurs in all animals whether they are nocturnal — awake and active at night —or not. Therefore, nocturnal animals do not sleep when they are producing melatonin because they are active.

I’ve found that melatonin doesn’t help a person fall asleep. Rather, it improves the quality of sleep. Whether or not they sleep better, taking melatonin seems to help people feel better the next morning.

Don was a 60-year-old engineer for a car company He told me that he had been a lousy sleeper his whole life. “Sometimes it takes me an hour or two to fall asleep, and then I wake up every couple of hours and go to the bathroom,” he said.

Some questions revealed that Don was drinking six cups of coffee per day, in his words, “to stay awake.” But he was not drinking enough water nor eating a healthy diet.

“The first step to improving your sleep is to cut down your coffee intake,” I told him. “Too much caffeine can give anyone sleep issues. And you have to get properly hydrated and eat better. Too much sugar and refined food throw off the body’s ability to control hormonal production, including melatonin.”

Don cleaned up his diet, cut back on the caffeine, and dedicated himself to staying hydrated. At a two-month follow-up visit, he told me he was sleeping better and feeling better, but still waking up frequently at night.

Don was evaluated to make sure he wasn’t having prostate problems that would lead to frequent urination. But his prostate was fine. I then asked Don to take 60 mg of melatonin per night. When I saw Don again three months later, he reported feeling much better.

“I still get up, but not as frequently. And I feel better in the mornings. My brain isn’t foggy,” he said.

Don’s story is not unique. It’s more like the norm. Eating healthier and maintaining hydration, along with melatonin supplementation can help improve just about anyone’s chronic fatigue.


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Insomnia is one of the most common complaints I hear from patients. Melatonin is a hormone produced and secreted at night, during darkness.
sleep, melatonin, prostate, dr. brownstein
Tuesday, 28 May 2024 04:13 PM
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