What Is Melatonin And Should You Really Take It For Sleep?

March 11, 2015 12:23 PM

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What Is Melatonin And Should You Really Take It For Sleep?

When it comes to living healthy, you know getting enough sleep matters. You can't kill it at work and at the gym if you aren't hitting the sack hard to let your mind and body recuperate. So if you're a tosser-and-turner, your ears might perk up at the mention of potential relief in the form of the supplement melatonin. But what is melatonin? And is it really a good idea to take something to help knock you out at night?

"Your body [naturally] makes melatonin, which helps create the urge to fall asleep," says Sanjeev Kothare, M.D., director of the pediatric sleep program at NYU Langone Medical Center. "We call it 'the hormone of the dark' because it starts rising as it gets late and the light intensity [of the day] ...

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