Are you looking for an alternative to traditional sleep aid pills? Have you heard of melatonin sprays as a potential option? Melatonin has long been understood to be the hormone most responsible for regulating our sleeping and waking cycles. In the form of sprays, it allows users to supplement their levels without taking any other pill or medication.

But while many individuals have begun using them with great success, it is important to understand what exactly they are, how they work, and if they are safe to ensure everyone gets the best possible sleep every night.

In this article, we’ll dive into melatonin spray and discuss whether spray formulas are truly safe and effective for improving your sleeping habits. Now, let’s begin.

What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced in the brain by the pineal gland. It helps to regulate our circadian rhythm or internal clock, which sets our sleep/wake cycles. [1] When melatonin is released into the bloodstream, it causes drowsiness and fatigue and signals to the body that it’s time for rest and relaxation.

What are Melatonin Sprays?

A spray is a form of melatonin designed to be used orally as a non-aerosol spray. This allows melatonin to enter the bloodstream more quickly and efficiently. It is also thought to be more effective for those with difficulty swallowing pills or tablets.

What Are the Benefits of Taking Melatonin Sprays?

Melatonin sprays are generally safe to use and may help improve sleep quality. They can help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep and increase sleep duration. They may also benefit people with jet lag, shift work sleep disorder, and those with difficulty falling asleep due to stress or anxiety.

Other benefits of melatonin spray also include:

1. Increases mood and immunological function

Immunosenescence is the age-related loss in immunological function, and a decline in the functional activity of NK cells (the first wave of defenders against infection and disease), granulocytes (a type of white blood cell with small granules that release enzymes when your immune system is under attack(, and macrophages (types of white blood cells of the immune system that aid in the removal of foreign substances) define it.

It is linked to a rise in the prevalence of cancer and infectious and degenerative illnesses. All three types of immunity degrade at a faster rate as people become older. When people become older, they tend to have fewer NK cells and less effective ones.

According to research, melatonin has a major impact as an immunomodulator, improving both innate and cellular immunity. This compound promotes the development of granulocyte, macrophage, and natural killer (NK) cell progenitor cells. Changes in the length of melatonin production are thought to mediate the seasonal variations in immunological function reported in animals and humans.[2]

2. Antioxidant for the brain and other parts of the central nervous system

Melatonin is a substance that functions in neurons as an antioxidant, anti-excitotoxicity, and anti-inflammatory agent. In vitro studies of melatonin’s protective effects on central nervous system (CNS) tissues indicated that it exerted antioxidant effects in many CNS regions, including the brain, whole spinal cord, optic nerve, and spinal cord white matter. [3]

Melatonin is also a neuroprotective and possible antidepressant because it can cross the blood-brain barrier and has few side effects. [4]

3. Helps maintain healthy levels of hormones, including estrogen

As melatonin enters the body, it acts on the ovaries, impacting the female reproductive system. Low melatonin levels have been linked to an increase in estrogen, whereas high melatonin levels have been linked to a reduction in estrogen.

By interacting with the estrogen receptor signaling pathway, melatonin also has an anti-estrogen effect. Consequently, melatonin may be useful in treating infertility in women with elevated estrogen levels. Perhaps, it acts as a selective regulator of estrogen-enzyme activity.

It can potentially boost fertility in infertile women and protect the ovaries from radiation damage. While the further study on melatonin and the appropriate amounts in each patient is needed, the hormone will have a role in numerous therapies in the future. [5]

4. Maintains optimal cortisol levels for a positive reaction to stress

Melatonin may lower cortisol levels. Because of this, melatonin may be used as a cost-effective and safe medication to help hemodialysis patients get better sleep and lower their nighttime cortisol levels. [6]

Are Melatonin Sprays Effective?

Yes. Melatonin spray effectively improves sleep quality and reduces the time to fall asleep. Since it is absorbed so rapidly, the spray begins to work more immediately and has the potential to have a more significant effect compared to the tablet form.

Are Melatonin Sprays Safe to Take?

Yes. Melatonin sprays are generally safe. Usually, three sprays are suggested to be taken orally once a day, preferably before night.

However, it’s recommended to be used only by adults. Moreover, avoid using them if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or already on corticosteroids.

How to Use Melatonin Sprays

Oral melatonin sprays are administered by spraying the prescribed amount into the mouth, either beneath the tongue or inside the cheek. Keep it in your mouth for at least thirty seconds and no more than a minute to maximize absorption. With this technique, the spray is first absorbed by the mouth’s mucous membrane, then carried into the bloodstream through the capillaries of the mouth and throat.

If you’re not sure how much to take, it’s best to ease into it with the smallest possible dose and then increase it as necessary.

How Long Does It Take for Melatonin Spray to Work?

It usually takes 30 minutes for melatonin spray to begin functioning properly. Depending on various circumstances, including age and general health, melatonin may remain in the body for up to five hours.

Starting with the lowest effective dose of melatonin is recommended. When taken in excess, melatonin might throw off your natural sleep cycle.

Side Effects of Using Melatonin Sprays

Taking in an excessive amount of melatonin might have the reverse of the desired effect. Because of the disruption in circadian rhythms, sleep may become more difficult. Overdosing might cause you to have vivid dreams or nightmares and make you feel drowsy and lethargic throughout the day.

High doses of melatonin may also cause side effects, such as headaches, nausea, drowsiness, confusion, and vivid dreams. It may also interact with other medications, such as anticoagulants and immunosuppressants.

Melatonin can also affect blood pressure and heart rate. If you have been taking melatonin for a long time, it is best to consult your doctor before beginning the treatment.

Bottom Line: Are Melatonin Sprays Safe and Effective? 

Melatonin has proven to be an effective supplement to regrow or reset one’s natural sleeping and waking cycles. Although other forms of melatonin are available, using the sprays can help users regulate it more easily.

As efficient as it is, though, please check with your doctor if you’re considering taking the supplements over extended periods so that all the bases are covered, and you don’t experience any unintended consequences. Even if they all use naturally sourced ingredients like valerian root or chamomile flower, ensuring it is right for your body is best.

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.

Editorial References And Fact-Checking

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Melatonin: What you need to know. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Retrieved February 21, 2023, from https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/melatonin-what-you-need-to-know
  • Srinivasan V, Maestroni GJ, Cardinali DP, Esquifino AI, Perumal SR, Miller SC. Melatonin, immune function and aging. Immun Ageing. 2005 Nov 29;2:17. doi: 10.1186/1742-4933-2-17. PMID: 16316470; PMCID: PMC1325257.
  • Kaptanoglu E, Palaoglu S, Demirpence E, Akbiyik F, Solaroglu I, Kilinc A. Different responsiveness of central nervous system tissues to oxidative conditions and to the antioxidant effect of melatonin. J Pineal Res. 2003 Jan;34(1):32-5. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-079x.2003.02934.x. PMID: 12485369.
  • Lee JG, Woo YS, Park SW, Seog DH, Seo MK, Bahk WM. The Neuroprotective Effects of Melatonin: Possible Role in the Pathophysiology of Neuropsychiatric Disease. Brain Sci. 2019 Oct 21;9(10):285. doi: 10.3390/brainsci9100285. Erratum in: Brain Sci. 2019 Nov 25;9(12): PMID: 31640239; PMCID: PMC6826722.
  • Starr, J. (2011). The Effect of Melatonin on the Ovaries. The Science Journal of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences, 5(1). Retrieved from https://touroscholar.touro.edu/sjlcas/vol5/iss1/6.
  • Hasannia E, Derakhshanpour F, Vakili MA. Effects of Melatonin on Salivary Levels of Cortisol and Sleep Quality of Hemodialysis Patients: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Iran J Psychiatry. 2021 Jul;16(3):305-311. doi: 10.18502/ijps.v16i3.6256. PMID: 34616464; PMCID: PMC8452832.
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Shaira Urbano, Licensed Pharmacist

Shaira is a licensed pharmacist (Bachelor of Pharmacy) and an experienced content writer. She enjoys inspiring and informing her readers through research-backed, comprehensive health content. Shaira draws from her personal experience working with real-life patients in a hospital setting and is currently pursuing her passion in writing.

Author

  • Shaira is a licensed pharmacist (Bachelor of Pharmacy) and an experienced content writer. She enjoys inspiring and informing her readers through research-backed, comprehensive health content. Shaira draws from her personal experience working with real-life patients in a hospital setting and is currently pursuing her passion in writing.

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Shaira is a licensed pharmacist (Bachelor of Pharmacy) and an experienced content writer. She enjoys inspiring and informing her readers through research-backed, comprehensive health content. Shaira draws from her personal experience working with real-life patients in a hospital setting and is currently pursuing her passion in writing.