I never could fall asleep easily. And the rare times when I could, I’d wake up in the middle of the night and be up for hours. It wasn’t until I learned about melatonin supplements that I was finally able to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. But melatonin is not just available in pill form. It can also be found in some foods. Still, I believe melatonin supplements are better than melatonin rich foods for anyone who desires a good night’s sleep.
Overview of melatonin
Melatonin is a hormone our bodies make naturally. It automatically increases during evening hours helping us fall asleep. You can buy melatonin tablets in the vitamin section of most grocery stores. Some foods that container higher amounts of melatonin include cherries/concentrate cherry juice, almonds, raspberries, bananas, and tomatoes. There are even melatonin laced snacks like brownies that promise a good night’s sleep.
You can buy a bottle of melatonin supplements for around $7 for 100 3mg tablets. That’s 7 cents a day for a better night’s sleep. Higher dose supplements are also available. If you have store loyalty cards, you may save even more money. Many foods supposedly rich in melatonin only contain trace amounts, making it almost impossible to rely on them to do the job of one 7 cent pill.
Although concentrate tart cherry juice has more significant amounts of melatonin, a 16oz bottle could run you anywhere from $6-$12. And with 2 tablespoons being the recommended dose, that still comes to over 50 cents a day versus 7 cents daily.
Melatonin supplements can be found at most grocery stores, pharmacies, and even big box stores like Target. Concentrate cherry juice tends to be sold more at health food stores which are not as plentiful as grocers and Targets. Yes it’s true, concentrate cherry juice also has wonderful anti-inflammatory qualities. But if your only goal is getting to sleep and you don’t suffer from something like arthritis, the anti-inflammatory argument is moot.
Remember those melatonin brownies I mentioned earlier in this article? Well, these melatonin laced snacks with brand names like Lazy Cakes are being sold in many drug stores, convenience stores, and even night clubs. Some brownies have as much as 8mg of melatonin, more than 2 ½ times the amount in a 3mg supplement.
The Food and Drug Administration warns this could be very dangerous in the hands of a child who, experts say, should never receive more than 0.3mg of melatonin in one day. And then there is the question of accidentally eating the brownie just as a snack before doing something dangerous like driving.