I was surprised to see that many people search about using Melatonin for anxiety every month. As far as I was aware, Melatonin is great for regulating your sleep cycles and treating insomnia, but I had never heard of using it to treat anxiety.
I decided to investigate if it could be used for this purpose and delved into the research available on the subject of Melatonin as an anxiety treatment.
Does Melatonin Work for Anxiety?
This substance primarily works on helping you get to sleep. It is a hormone that is naturally found in your body that regulates your sleep cycle. You need to have the right balance in your body to get a good sleep night after night. Some people with chronic insomnia have a problem with this balance being out of whack.
For people with anxiety who have trouble falling asleep due to anxious thoughts, for example, it can be a godsend. However, can it work on treating anxiety?
There is some evidence to suggest that it can be effective, one study showed a reduction in anxiety levels before surgery when Melatonin was administered under the patient’s tongue.
In fact, it was shown to be as effective as the anxiety-reducing medication Midazolam at reducing pre-surgery anxiety¹. Fewer side effects were reported when Melatonin was used instead of the anxiolytic too.
There is also the knock-on effect that getting quality sleep can have on your mood and level of anxiety. Could it be that Melatonin indirectly reduces anxiety by giving sufferers a higher quality and quantity of sleep? I couldn’t find research to prove or disprove this theory at the time of writing.
So it is difficult to give a definite answer as to the question: does Melatonin work for anxiety? I believe more research in this area is needed in order for me to give a more definite answer.
Although evidence in favor of this theory comes from Dr. Wendy Kirby, an experienced Psychiatrist, who said of the melatonin-anxiety reduction link:
“By regulating the sleep/wake cycle and helping the body and brain stay on a regular routine, melatonin should lessen anxiety”
Melatonin Side Effects
Because Melatonin is a substance naturally found in all of our bodies, side effects tend to be mild. However, there are a few precautions to take before you consider buying a product containing this ingredient:
- Do not use during pregnancy or breast-feeding
- You may get headaches from this supplement
- Other side effects include: daytime sleepiness, dizziness, stomach upset
Melatonin Brand Names
There are quite a few brand names under which Melatonin is sold as a supplement including Nature’s Bounty, GNC, and Now Foods.
Perhaps the most well known (and my top rated insomnia treatment) is called Melatrol.
This Melatonin containing supplement contains the right amount of this ingredient to help correct problems with your sleep cycle and help to alleviate anxiety.
Therefore it works in the long term to reduce and eventually stop insomnia, especially anxiety-induced insomnia.