Melatonin vs. Sleep Patches: Which Works Better?

Whenever it comes to getting some good quality sleep, we are going to try anything to make sure that those 8 hours of uninterrupted snooze time goes off without any real problems. Most of the medical ways to sleep are going to circle back around to melatonin, which is a hormone that makes us want to sleep and makes us want to fall asleep. 

 However, we often have less melatonin than we need for various reasons. These can be due to too much blue light before bed, a messed up sleep schedule due to late nights, or too much caffeine or alcohol. In order to increase our melatonin levels, we can use two different methods to bring our melatonin levels up.

Melatonin can be used for oral supplements that are taken before bedtime, or melatonin patches that work similar to other patches. But do either of these actually do anything for your body? Do they really work for your sleep, and if so, which one of these works better for your sleep quality and your melatonin levels?

What Do Melatonin Supplements Do For Your Body?

In most cases, a melatonin supplement that is being taken right before bed is going to reduce the amount of time needed for someone to fall asleep. In most cases, while there are no hard and fast rules as to what amount of supplements to take, most adults need 0.5 milligrams to 3 milligrams per night.

Additionally, the popularity of melatonin is because it is a very natural substance that the body produces itself. It won’t cause you to form a dependent habit on the melatonin supplements, and you also don’t have any sleep inertia as well, which is when you wake up feeling groggy. However, if you take too much then you can get symptoms such as headache, dizziness, and nausea.

The supplements are available in pills and capsules, as well as in a liquid form. No matter what type of melatonin you get, as long as you take the recommended dosage, you will be fine when it comes to having a good night’s sleep.

However, if you don’t like swallowing pills or capsules, and hate the taste of liquid, then melatonin skin patches or other types of skin patches can be very helpful to help you fall asleep.

How Do Sleep Patches Work?

Sleep patches are similar to nicotine patches, where you attach them to your body and the chemical goes into the body through the skin. Some of the sleep patches do have large amounts of melatonin inside of them, but others have other chemicals, making them perfect melatonin alternatives. These include magnesium, GABA, passionflower, L-theanine, and hemp. All of these chemicals are designed to help the body fall asleep, and as they get inside your body through the skin they can work just like melatonin.

The main benefit of the patches is that unlike oral supplements that are designed to work quickly, the patches are instead designed to release their chemicals slowly into the body and an extended release system to help the body stay asleep for far longer. 

The sleep patches will have various instructions attached to them about where to place them, although the most common location is the forearm. Although most patches have you place the patch on a hair free and comfortable area, such as the  forearm, shoulder, calf, or the top of your foot. You would apply the patch like a sticker on the specific spot, and then sleep throughout the night, then peel the patch off in the morning.

Patches are designed to help everyone fall asleep, and also to fall asleep during the day along with during the night. So if you have jet lag or need to work unnatural shifts, then a patch could very well help you out.

Which One Is Better For Your Sleep?

While there isn’t a ton of research done into melatonin patches in the medical community, they do help you fall asleep and also works to help you stay asleep. However, all melatonin supplements are able to help you sleep, and it’s a matter of personal preference as to which one you can use for your bedtime routine.

However, both of these are safe to use and for good short term use. However, there can be some side effects if you take the wrong dosage, and these side effects can include: headaches, dizziness, irritability, temporary depressive feelings, and stomach cramps. You should also avoid driving a car or using machinery if you have just taken the supplement.

Otherwise, you can use either one and it will be a matter of personal preference as well as your situation that determines which one you use. Just make sure to take them consistently and correctly, and then get some sleep!

Huynh Nguyen

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