Why You Shouldn’t Take Melatonin If You Can’t Sleep

Every week we ask a medical professional a health question. This week: Will taking melatonin pills help if I don’t sleep well? Gerard Kerkhof, sleep teacher: “With melatonin as a sleeping aid you protect yourself against the rain. It disrupts your sleep-wake rhythm.”

by Dorien Dijkhuis

Frequently Asked Questions About Taking Melatonin For Better Sleep

I often stay awake at night, does melatonin see the benefit?

“Our research from a few years ago shows that 12.3% of Dutch people use medicines to sleep better. A quarter of these people take melatonin pills. This is why poor sleep is so common. Taking sleeping pills is a good idea, melatonin is not.”

Why not take this sleep hormone?

Melatonin is a hormone that our body produces itself. It happens in our brains at night while we sleep. That is why the substance is called the sleep hormone. But before I fall asleep, the fabric does nothing.”

“Meta-analyses of various international studies show that people do not fall asleep much earlier after taking melatonin pills. Melatonin also does not achieve significant results in staying asleep.”

“The fabric ensures that you fall asleep during the day, that is, towards the end of the evening. It therefore does not provide sleep, but helps to adjust the biological clock: melatonin regulates the sleep-wake rhythm. extrinsic melatonin disrupts your own sleep hormonal balance, so don’t give this to your child.”

But it’s free at the drugstore, so it can’t be that bad, can it?

Your own melatonin levels follow a strict rhythm controlled by the biological clock. At nine o’clock in the evening it starts to rise. It peaks between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. and then drops again. At nine o’clock in the morning. The level has dropped completely.”


Most of our sleep problems stem from the way we live our lives. We are very busy in the evenings.

Gerard Kerkhof, sleep teacher


“Adding melatonin can alter the biological clock. We get rid of it because it causes more sleep disturbances. That is why I am absolutely not in favor of melatonin being available in pharmacies for free.”

Do other sleeping pills work?

“The vast majority of sleeping pills are benzodiazepines. It has dozens of variations. They affect the part of the sleep-wake system that calms the brain. I don’t support. Studies show that they inhibit REM sleep and thereby affect sleep. sleep quality.”

So what can you do to sleep better?

“Most of our sleep problems stem from the way we live our lives during the day. We are also very busy in the evenings. Give the body and brain time to calm down.”

“In addition, light from lamps and computer, television or telephone screens inhibits the own production of melatonin. It keeps you awake. So do not let your children ‘screen’ in the evening before going to sleep, but rather let them ‘rest’. ‘gently.’ Let them rest completely for an hour before going to bed.

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Gerard Kerkhof, Haaglanden Tıp Merkezi Uyku Merkezi’nde ve Amsterdam Üniversitesi’nde psikofizyoloji profesörü ve araştırmacıdır.

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Source: NU

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