Health Watch — Sleep Disorders: Melatonin
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This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about sleep disorders. It’s important to our health to get enough sleep, and when we have trouble sleeping, it’s tempting to reach for something to help us. People who are leery of using medication may turn to melatonin, but doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center say this supplement shouldn’t be used as a long-term sedative.
Dr. John Herman, a sleep expert at UT Southwestern, says melatonin is the hormone that sets the body clock, telling your body when it’s time to go to sleep and wake up. It may have sedative effects for some people, but it’s most often used to prevent jet lag or treat people who have trouble going to sleep or waking up at the right time. Those who have chronic sleep difficulties should seek medical help for a full evaluation to diagnose the exact problem.
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