Sleep and dreams have been studied since ancient times, but many questions remain about their function and impact. One of the main areas of curiosity is how our bodies regulate sleep. The hormone melatonin plays a role in our ability to fall asleep and may have an impact on vivid, or lucid, dreaming and we all know very well how dreams impact our lives. But what’s the relationship between melatonin supplements and dreams? Let’s explore some possible answers about dream melatonin and how melatonin affects dreams.
Many people take melatonin supplements to help them sleep, but what exactly does it do to your dreams?
Melatonin is a hormone that regulates sleep in humans and animals. It’s also produced by the pineal gland in your brain, which means that it’s not technically a supplement—it’s a naturally-occurring hormone. Since melatonin helps regulate your sleep cycle, you can expect that taking supplements will help you fall asleep at night and stay asleep through the night.
But what happens to your dreams when you take melatonin? The research shows this:
- Taking melatonin supplements may cause lucid dreaming, which means dreaming while aware of being awake.
- Melatonin may help relieve symptoms of depression;
Melatonin is a hormone that helps us sleep
Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced by the pineal gland, a small organ in your brain. Its production helps regulate your sleep cycle and is also responsible for making you feel sleepy once the sun goes down. Melatonin levels rise as light decreases, which can be triggered by darkness or even just being indoors after sunset.
In addition to its role in regulating your circadian rhythm, melatonin has been linked to other aspects of human health including cancer prevention, cardiovascular disease prevention, and longevity.
As such, many people turn to melatonin supplementation in order to help them fall asleep faster when they have trouble sleeping at night or during jet lag from traveling across time zones.
Melatonin supplements are meant to help you fall asleep
how do melatonin supplements work? Melatonin supplements are meant to help you fall asleep.
Melatonin supplements are not a replacement for a good night’s sleep. They cannot make up for the effects of poor sleep habits, such as not getting enough sleep or sleeping irregularly.
Melatonin supplements should not be used by children or pregnant women. Melatonin can affect the brain development in children and may increase their risk of developing tumors later in life, according to Mayo Clinic research published in 2009 in “Cancer Research.” In addition, melatonin can reduce estrogen levels during pregnancy which may lead to serious complications during childbirth and cause birth defects if taken during early pregnancy (before week 7).
Taking melatonin supplements might cause lucid dreaming
- Melatonin is a hormone that your body produces to regulate your sleep cycle.
- The more melatonin you have in your system, the longer it takes for you to reach REM sleep and longer for you to wake up from REM sleep.
- The effects of melatonin are similar to what happens when you stay awake all night: the part of our brain responsible for memory processing slows down and we experience less vivid dreams and a greater chance of having them at all (since we spend less time in REM sleep).
Melatonin may help with depression
Melatonin may help with depression. There are several studies that suggest melatonin can be used as an effective treatment for certain types of depression. Melatonin has also been shown to reduce symptoms in people who suffer from the seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that occurs during the winter months and is thought to be linked to decreased exposure to sunlight.
It may also be helpful for sleep disorders. According to some research, melatonin supplements can improve sleep quality and duration in those with insomnia or other sleeping disorders. Additionally, it may help treat delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS), which causes people’s body clocks not to align properly with typical circadian rhythms.
It seems that melatonin may affect dream quality
Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland in your brain, which helps you regulate your sleep-wake cycle by controlling the production of other hormones involved in regulating sleep, such as serotonin and norepinephrine. It also impacts REM sleep, which is when most dreams occur. During REM sleep, the muscles are paralyzed so you don’t act out your dreams. Melatonin supplements can be used to help people with insomnia fall asleep easier at night or to help shift workers get back on track after being awake for longer than usual hours (though research does not show any benefit to taking melatonin if you’re getting enough quality sleep).
But here’s where things get interesting: some studies suggest that taking too much melatonin could actually suppress or decrease dreaming altogether—which would be bad news if you depend on lucid dreaming as part of your daily life! However, other researchers have found no correlation between taking melatonin supplements and reduced lucidity during sleep cycles without interfering with REM stages; instead, they suggest the opposite! In fact one study found that long-term users who began taking 10 mg doses over several weeks reported more frequent spontaneous lucid dreams than those who didn’t take any supplements at all throughout their trial period.
Talk to your doctor about whether melatonin is right for you.
Talk to your doctor before taking melatonin if:
- you have a medical condition that can be affected by melatonin (for example, you are pregnant or breast-feeding)
- you are taking other medications that may interact with melatonin.
We don’t know everything there is to know about melatonin and the effects it can have on sleep and dreams. We do know that there isn’t much evidence that it can hurt you, though. As with any supplement or medication, we recommend consulting a doctor before taking it—especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Other than that, taking melatonin as directed is relatively safe and could help improve your sleep and dreams.