Can Melatonin Help Manage Anxiety?

02 Sep 2020

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Feeling anxious is normal, however, if it lingers around for a long time and interferes with your daily life, you may be suffering from persistent anxiety. 

There are various ways of dealing with anxiety. Along with professional help, you may be able to manage your anxiety with a nutritious diet, a healthy lifestyle, and nutritional supplements. Most notable of these is melatonin. This may seem strange, as although most of us are familiar with a variety of melatonin benefits, few recognize its impact on mood and stress or anxiety levels. 

Here, we tell you all about the connection between melatonin and anxiety. 

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What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is the body’s natural response to stress. It is a mental health issue that is characterized by fear, stress, and extreme worry about minor things. The symptoms of anxiety include [1]: 

  • Restlessness and nervousness
  • Increased heart rate
  • Hyperventilation
  • Sweating
  • Feeling weak and tired
  • Trouble sleeping and concentrating
  • Urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety

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What Is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone that our brain produces at night (in response to darkness). It plays a significant role in synchronizing the circadian rhythm, and managing the sleep-wake cycle, which is why improved sleep is the best known of all melatonin benefits. It also promotes consistent, quality rest. Some studies also suggest that melatonin can provide some relief from insomnia and jet lag [2]. 

The reasons why you may lack this hormone are – increased exposure to blue light (digital screens), working night shifts, jet lag, poor lifestyle choices, unhealthy diet and irregular sleeping patterns. Low levels of melatonin in the body can lead to insomnia, sleep deprivation, stress and mood swings. 

The Relationship Between Melatonin & Anxiety

If you’re still wondering how you can use melatonin for anxiety, we’re getting there. Sleep is closely related to your mental health. The inability to get a good night’s slumber can wreak havoc on your brain and may cause anxiety.

Sleep deprivation or disturbance in sleep is one of the key symptoms (as well as causes) of generalized anxiety disorder. Studies suggest that since melatonin may help fix your sleep cycle, it may also help relieve symptoms of anxiety [2]. Such research is the main driver in the use of melatonin for anxiety, but it’s not the only reason as there are various melatonin benefits.

Some other studies suggest that melatonin increases the concentration of GABA (Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid), a neurotransmitter that has anti-anxiety properties [3]. Although not one of the commonly recognized melatonin benefits, this could be a game changer as it allows us to use a natural supplement or melatonin for anxiety relief. A good alternative for individuals unwilling or reluctant to use psychiatric medications. 

Using Melatonin 

Melatonin supplements are not medications that guarantee a cure for anxiety, but they may help deal with the condition better. However, an expert recommendation and consultation is advised if you wish to use melatonin for anxiety treatment.

To get all of these melatonin supplement benefits, it is also advisable to get your supplement from a trusted brand. Setu Melatonin is a non-habit-forming supplement that helps restore your sleep cycle. The supplement is clinically validated and formulated using the patented ThinOral technology to ensure quick and efficient delivery of melatonin in the body, so that you can tap into all of the potential melatonin supplement benefits. It is made up of natural, plant-based ingredients, which make it a viable choice for vegetarians too. 

While melatonin health benefits in the context of anxiety are notable, you should also adopt other stress reduction habits and techniques to manage the problem:

  • Take breaks when you feel overwhelmed
  • Go out for a short walk 
  • Take deep breaths or count till 10 slowly when you feel extremely anxious
  • Practice meditation and yoga
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Limit alcohol and caffeine 
  • Write down your thoughts
  • Take help of humor to lighten things up
  • Rest and get enough sleep

Alternatively, you can also manage your sleep better with these tips:

  • Stick to a sleep schedule
  • Avoid consuming nicotine, caffeine or alcohol a few hours before sleeping
  • Limit daytime naps
  • Maintain and follow a fixed routine
  • Avoid digital screen exposure 1-2 hours before sleeping
  • Ensure that the room is dark when it’s time to sleep 
  • Try not to worry about things that can be done next morning

Reference: 

    1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anxiety/symptoms-causes/syc-20350961
    2. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/melatonin-what-you-need-to-know
    3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4303399/
    4. https://adaa.org/tips
    5. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/sleep/art-20048379
    6. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/sleep/getting-better-sleep.htm

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