Shift Work and Melatonin Supplements

melatoninsleepTaking Melatonin and Sleeping in a Dark Room Can Help You Get Your ZZZZs

Q: I work a 12-hour rotational shift. I don't have a problem falling asleep, but when I sleep days I only sleep for four hours. I am 60 years old and feel that I am aging fast. Would taking melatonin help me sleep longer when I’m sleeping during the day? Should it only be taken when sleeping days or is it a hormone that you take every day?

A: Sleeping in a dark room is the single best way to normalize melatonin levels. Taking melatonin supplements could help you sleep longer, and help adjust your sleep biorhythms. Keeping a regular schedule (within your rotating shifts) and avoiding alcohol before bed will also help. There's no need to take melatonin supplements every day, and it's probably a good idea to take a break from it when you're working days (sleeping nights), as long as you're getting good quality sleep.

For more tips on getting your zzzz's, read Getting a Good Night's Sleep by Dr. John Lee. Below you'll find a list of more helpful articles about melatonin and sleep.