Melatonin is a hormone produced in the brain that helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle and circadian rhythm, affecting when we sleep and wake up.
Melatonin has become popular because it has been shown to help people with insomnia, shift work disorder, jet lag, or other sleeping problems.
Melatonin is not a sleeping pill; it is more than that regulates Mitochondrial Health, inflammation, and other things.
However, Some people who take Melatonin find that it does not work for sleep.
In this article, we will explain What to Do When Melatonin Does not Work For you? and “How Can Make you Boost the Effectiveness Of Melatonin.”
Why Isn’t My Melatonin Putting Me To Sleep?
Melatonin supplements are not a cure-all for sleep problems, and Melatonin supplements might help some people fall asleep faster, but it does guarantee.
When you fall asleep, melatonin levels rise to signal your body that it is time to sleep. When you wake up, melatonin levels drop to signal that it’s time to be alert and active again.
With age, melatonin production decreases, which is why older adults often have more difficulty sleeping than younger adults.
Yet, our body metabolizes Melatonin as well as other factors such different person to person. Beside, EMF and Blue-light exposure also negatively affect on Melatonin secretion.
The Most Common Reason People Can’t Fall asleep is:
- GABA Dysregulation (Study showed that Brain GABA Dysregulation in Primary Insomnia)
- Overactive Amygdala (The amygdala modulates brainstem arousal and sleep centers.)
- Stimulates(Caffeine, Guarana)
- Exercise Before Sleep
Study found that amygdala activation reduced after a night of sleep and that this diminished was proportional to the duration of REM sleep.
You Might Not Have Melatonin Deficiency
Another reason has difficulty sleeping because of Glutamate toxicity.
Glutamate is involved in transmitting nerve signals in the brain and other parts of the nervous system.
However, people with excessive Glutamate tend to “overthink” because when they try to focus on one thing, their neurons are constantly firing and releasing Glutamate. This might lead to paranoia, anxiety, and insomnia.
Relationship Between GABA Deficiency And Glutamate
The neurotransmitter GABA in the brain can help you sleep better and be calmer, and the opposite effect of Glutamate regulates the activity of other neurotransmitters.
This is why it is important to find ways to increase your GABA levels for better sleep.
GABA deficiency can lead to glutamate excitotoxicity, a condition where glutamate molecules cause excessive stimulation of neurons and nerve cells, leading to cell death.
Popular sleep supplements such as Valerian Roots and GABA or active form B6 supplements can be more helpful for sleep if you have GABA deficiency.
Without enough GABA, you can find yourself overthinking, anxious, and stressed, which leads to sleep problems.
Avoid Caffeine For Better Sleep And GABA
Caffeine is a stimulant that stimulates or speeds up central nervous system activation.
Some people are more sensitive to Caffeine than others.
Caffeine has also been shown to reduce inhibitory (GABAergic) action, which in turn causes increased stress and anxiety.
For that reason, minimizing Caffeine intake or switch Decaffeinated Coffee is better to choose people who have anxiety and insomnia.
Related: Does Melatonin Counteract Caffeine?
The Things Helps For Effectiveness Of Melatonin
The stress hormone “Cortisol” can inhibit the production of Serotonin, Melatonin, and GABA; they’re all important for better sleep.
Stress can cause Amygdala (fear center) will become overactive and suppress the hippocampus area, which is responsible for memory, learning, and emotion regulation. For that reason, working on the Cortisol level is the Number one thing if you want melatonin to work better.
Recent research has shown that people experiencing chronic stress and insomnia show changes in their amygdala. Specifically, these changes include increases in gray matter volume and size of the right amygdala, which is responsible for fear-related memories.
However, long-term meditation and stress management skills showed that a reduced amygdala and better control for sleeplessness and negative thoughts eventually lead to better sleep.
That is why working on your stress and combine with Melatonin is a far better approach for every person.
Things Help Ease Stress:
- Magnesium, B6, B1, Vitamin C, and D
- Adaptogens (Rhodiola Rosea, Ashwagandha, Korean Ginseng)
- Meditation (Mindfulness)
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy
- Wim Hof Breathing Techniques
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation
What Helps Melatonin Work Faster?
Exposure to blue and green light in the evening can inhibit melatonin production, leading to disrupted sleep cycles. This happens when there is too much light at night. So, avoiding blue light at night and stress management through meditation and breathing can help melatonin work faster and more effectively.
Melatonin Supplements Form Matter
Some people may prefer a time-release capsule or an oral spray. These forms are absorbed more slowly and can be taken at bedtime for the desired effect.
Start with a small dosage, and see if it works.
What Can I Take For Sleep If Melatonin Doesn’t Work?
If Melatonin doesn’t seem to be working for you, there are many other ways to help with your sleep, including those you can take without a prescription. The following are some examples of over-the-counter medications that you could try:
- Valerian root (GABA receptors)
- L-Theanine (Alpha Brain Waves and Works With GABA)
- 5-HTP (Precursor of Melatonin)
- Kava Kava (GABA Receptor)
- Magnesium Plus B6 (GABA and Serotonin)
Related: Can Melatonin Supplements Make You Anxious?
Could My Body Be Resistant To The Effects Of Melatonin?
Unlike some sleep medications, melatonin won’t leave you feeling dependent or prone to withdrawal symptoms. So, we can say that “Melatonin is a safe and effective sleep aid that does not carry the risk of withdrawal or dependency.”
In other words, it’s non-addictive and can be used as a natural sleep aid without any negative consequences as sleep drugs. And its unique effects make it an amazing alternative to traditional sleep meds( that may come with risks of dependency and side effects).
Could My Lifestyle Habits Affect My Sleep, Such as Consuming Caffeine or Alcohol Too Close to Bedtime?
Yes, it is possible that lifestyle habits such as consuming caffeine or alcohol too close to bedtime can affect sleep and potentially interfere with the effectiveness of melatonin. Caffeine is a stimulant that can increase cortisol levels and disrupt the sleep-wake cycle, while alcohol may initially cause drowsiness but can disrupt sleep quality later in the night.
In addition to these factors, other lifestyle habits such as exposure to screens before bedtime, irregular sleep schedules, and high levels of stress may also contribute to sleep difficulties. It is important to consider these factors and make necessary lifestyle changes in order to improve sleep quality.
|Lifestyle Factor||Effect on Melatonin Production|
|Caffeine||Caffeine stimulant to the nervous system, and counteracts to the Melatonin production|
|Alcohol||May initially cause drowsiness, but can disrupt sleep quality later in the night|
|Screen time before bed||May disrupt the sleep-wake cycle and reduce melatonin production(Blue and green lights)|
|Irregular sleep schedule||It may disrupt the natural sleep-wake cycle and affect melatonin production|
|High-stress levels||Stress hormones act as suppression of Melatonin level|
Note: Prolonged exposure to stress hormones like cortisol can have a detrimental effect on the brain and reduce the production of BDNF. Why BDNF is important? Because BDNF(Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor) protein plays a crucial role in the creation of new brain cells(emotional regulation, and learning) in the hippocampus. BDNF level tends the lesser than people who has depression and anxiety.
This is another reason you should work on stress levels for better sleep, as well as mental health.
Yes, stress and other psychological factors can certainly contribute to sleep problems. As we talked about, Stress activates the body’s fight or flight response and that can interfere with the production of melatonin.
(Fight or Flight: The body’s survival instinct can be triggered in response to potentially dangerous situations, allowing individuals and other mammals to quickly react and protect themselves.)
Additionally, anxiety, depression, and other psychological conditions may lead to overthinking or difficulty relaxing, making it harder to fall asleep or stay asleep.
What Are Some Strategies For Managing Emotional Triggers That May Be Disrupting My Sleep?
- Cognitive behavior therapy: A type of therapy that focuses on changing negative thought patterns and behaviors that may be contributing to emotional distress.
- Taoism and Stoicism: Philosophies that emphasize the importance of accepting and managing emotions in a healthy way.
- Wim Hof Breathing: A breathing technique that aims to improve physical and mental well-being through cold exposure and controlled breathing.
- Cold showers: A method that some people use to improve physical and mental well-being by exposing the body to cold water and increasing alertness, clarity, and energy levels by secretion of Endorphins.
- Showing your emotions in creative ways: Finding healthy outlets for expressing emotions, such as through art, writing, philosophy, or physical activity such as martial arts like Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.
- Accepting your feelings: Allowing yourself to experience and acknowledge your emotions, rather than trying to suppress or ignore them.
“Emotional pain is not something that should be hidden away and forgotten. Healing comes from finding the right words to give voice to your pain.”– David Burns
Don’t be discouraged if you decide to use Melatonin and it doesn’t help you sleep.
There are many reasons why this might happen. The first step is to determine the cause of your sleep difficulties and work on managing that.
If you have tried different doses of Melatonin and still can’t sleep, try reducing caffeine intake and optimizing stress management skills by Meditation and Breathing as well as changing the diet to Magnesium Rich foods.
I hope this articles answer your questions.