We get asked a lot, “Does melatonin increase deep sleep, and will it help me to sleep better at night?”
Melatonin is among the most popular sleep aid available today, with millions of Americans using melatonin to encourage better, longer, and deeper sleep.
You’re here because you want to know if it really works, or if it’s just another over-hyped supplement that delivers mediocre results and costs you a fortune.
Below, we’re going to take a closer look at what melatonin is and provide some science-backed information to help you answer the question “Does melatonin increase deep sleep?” once and for all!
Does Melatonin Increase Deep Sleep and Sleep Quality?
To understand how well melatonin supplements work, we first need to understand what they do, which begins with an exploration of melatonin.
Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced by your body to regulate your sleep-wakefulness cycle. Melatonin levels are suppressed when the sun rises, but they increase when the sun sets and darkness descends over the world. This happens because your body registers sunset as the approach of bedtime, so it increases melatonin production to push you toward sleepiness. The higher your melatonin levels, the sleepier you feel.
For the average person, evening melatonin levels are high enough that they can fall asleep on their own. However, for those who suffer from sleep disorders, insomnia, or restlessness, their melatonin levels may not rise high enough to push them all the way into sleep. This is where melatonin supplements come in. The supplements provide an influx of melatonin that helps to accelerate sleepiness.
To know for sure whether or not it works, we dove into the many scientific studies conducted to examine the effects of melatonin. The findings were all fairly positive:
One study from 2004 found that melatonin helped to increase REM sleep, and “normalized circadian variation”. It recommended melatonin as a supplement for the elderly (who have trouble sleeping because their bodies produce less melatonin) and shift workers whose schedules interrupt their normal, healthy circadian rhythms.
A study from 2018 stated that melatonin could be useful for treating Alzheimer’s disease. During the early stages of Alzheimer’s, melatonin production is diminished, and the resulting sleep troubles can actually accelerate the neurodegenerative condition by decreasing the amount of deep, restorative sleep every night. With less time in deep sleep, the body can’t repair damage—including the damage to the brain caused by AD—so the condition worsens.
But by increasing sleep, melatonin can work as an early intervention to prevent neurodegeneration and promote healthy mental and physical aging.
Both of these studies provide pretty clear insight into melatonin being effective to improve sleep overall. The real question, however, is “Does melatonin increase deep sleep?”
Why is this so important? Well, it’s mainly during “deep sleep” that your body can make repairs to damaged tissues and cells—in your muscles, organs, even your brain. If you don’t sleep enough time in deep sleep, your overall condition will worsen (as was mentioned in the study about Alzheimer’s).
The average person only spends 13-23% of their sleep every night in the deep sleep stages. That’s not a lot, and it’s absolutely vital to get every one of those minutes, because they’re critical for your overall health.
So, does melatonin increase deep sleep?
Directly, no. Indirectly, yes.
You see, melatonin helps your body transition from wakefulness to sleep at night, and maintains healthy circadian rhythms. It’s those circadian rhythms that dictate how effectively you transition between the various stages of sleep—from light sleep to deep sleep to REM sleep and back to light sleep again. Without sufficient melatonin being naturally produced by your body, you will likely spend more time in the lighter stages of sleep, which can impair deep sleep. Thankfully, melatonin supplements help you to cycle on to the next stage, encouraging better deep sleep.
These supplements are particularly effective for people who have had their sleep disrupted, such as by shift work or international travel. However, for those who suffer from insomnia or have a hard time falling asleep, melatonin supplements can help to increase the amount of sleep hormone available in their bodies every evening, so they’ll fall asleep more naturally.
Of course, that leads to our next question: is melatonin safe for long-term usage?
Experts agree that melatonin is typically safe for short-term use. In most cases, “short term” typically refers to a period up to 3 months—or the amount of time it takes to empty the average-sized bottle (with 90-120 capsules).
However, there have been no studies conducted into the safety of long-term use, so there’s no concrete proof that using melatonin for 6-12 months (or longer) will have no side effects. Preliminary research does suggest that melatonin can increase blood sugar (problematic for diabetics) and reduce the effectiveness of certain drugs (including birth control pills, seizure medications, and blood pressure medications).
Ideally, you’d just take melatonin in the short-term to help repair your circadian rhythms, and take that time to take other steps to improve your sleep quality so once the bottle runs empty, you’ll be back to sleep well every night!
Does Melatonin Increase Deep Sleep? With Pure Sleep, It Does!
PureSleep is an organic supplement made using melatonin to help you restore your healthy sleep cycle, along with other ingredients—such as magnolia bark extract to calm your mind, magnesium to keep you sleeping, and Ashwagandha to encourage faster sleep—that will induce deeper, better quality sleep.
It’s a solution to help you repair your sleep cycle, get your schedule back on track, and encourage deeper, more restorative sleep. Give it a try, and you’ll find that it works wonders to help you sleep better every night.
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