Melatonin Use in the US More than Doubled in Last 10 Years
written by/ March 10, 2022
A recent study shows that Americans more than doubled their consumption of one of the most popular over-the-counter sleep aids, melatonin, in the past decade or so.
More precisely, the study published in JAMA notes that the number of people using melatonin significantly increased in recent times, going from 0.4% in 1999 to 2.1% in 2018.
Researchers claim this upward trend is present in all demographic groups. However, the study lacks a more detailed analysis presenting, for example, racial differences in consumption.
In any case, opting for a quality melatonin supplement rather than prescription sleeping pills is understandable, given the serious side effects of the latter.
Melatonin is a sleep hormone naturally produced in the human brain when exposed to decreased light. Its principal function is to regulate our circadian rhythm, that is, to help us fall asleep at a certain time of the day.
So, the increase in the use of something that’s naturally present in our bodies makes sense in a culture that promotes the organic and natural ways in everything over synthetics.
And this is reflected in the fact that only in 2020, Americans spent $821 million on melatonin supplements. But it’s not just the US that’s going crazy about this sleep-promoting substance. Melatonin’s popularity is exponentially growing all around the globe.
Still, in the wake of this revolution, wonder whether melatonin for sleep works, or better yet, whether it works for everybody?
There’s some evidence it may be beneficial for sleep onset, but not much regarding preventing waking up in the middle of the night or treating insomnia.
Additionally, though melatonin is safe for short-term use (children can take it too), experts still lack the data to conclude its effect on a long-term basis.
Luckily, the massive consumption we’re seeing today could provide researchers with valuable data and us, the general public, with more clear answers.