You want to buy melatonin and are still wondering what to look out for? Here you can find out everything about the effect, use, and dosage of the sleep hormone.

Sleeping is one of our natural basic needs and one of the most important levers when it comes to improving our own performance. Healthy sleep not only increases your performance but it also automatically strengthens your immune system.

Our sleep hormone melatonin plays the most important role when it comes to sleep. In this article, you will, therefore, learn what melatonin is exactly, what effect it has on your body and where you can buy melatonin in Germany without a prescription. 

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1. What is melatonin?

Melatonin is a natural sleep hormone that is produced from the feel-good hormone serotonin. The so-called pineal gland in your brain is responsible for this. The sleep hormone naturally controls your day-night rhythm and ensures that you get tired in the evening and fall asleep and wake up again the next morning.

The production of melatonin is controlled by light or by the absence of light, i.e. darkness in the evening and at night. Your natural melatonin level therefore automatically rises as soon as it gets dark outside and reaches its peak at night between midnight and 2 am.

During this time deep sleep occurs simultaneously. After that, your melatonin level drops again, the brighter it gets outside and the light falls on your eye. So you wake up the next morning and are fit and ready for the next morning. 

Take-Home Message #1: Melatonin is a natural hormone that is produced in the pineal gland in your brain and controls your day-night rhythm. Melatonin makes you tired in the evening and is responsible for how quickly you fall asleep or not.

2. How does the sleep hormone melatonin work in your body?

A study of the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences in Cambridge could prove two important effects of melatonin. 1] On the one hand, it can lead to a reduction in the time it takes to fall asleep. Especially the evening struggle to finally fall asleep is familiar to many.

No matter how tired you are, your thoughts cannot be turned off and sleep just won't come. If this sounds familiar to you, taking melatonin could be interesting for you. On the other hand, the researchers also gained initial insights into the importance of a consistently high melatonin level at night. A good and natural melatonin level is therefore essential for falling asleep and therefore for your sleep.

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3. The circadian system - how your biorhythm works

But let's start from the beginning again: Our natural sleep rhythm is evolutionary and has hardly changed for 1000 years. Put simply, you sleep because the two hormones melatonin and cortisol alternately set the tone in your body.

The concentration of the stress hormone cortisol is highest in the morning at around 7 a.m. As an antagonist to melatonin, cortisol allows you to stay awake during the day and decreases steadily over the course of the day. In the evening the level of the sleep hormone melatonin in the blood rises, which makes you tired and makes it possible for you to fall asleep.

The human being follows a built-in rhythm that adapts to light and darkness and follows a built-in 24-hour clock. Hormones rise and fall for one reason only: they are dependent on light. This 24-hour clock also called "circadian rhythm", influences the release of many other hormones in addition to sleep, which in turn regulate your immune system, blood pressure, mental performance and much more. Moving in harmony with this natural cycle is not only extremely important for a good sleep!

Attention, now it gets even more complex: This cycle is controlled by another hormone, the so-called happiness hormone "serotonin". Serotonin is the preliminary stage of melatonin and is, therefore, the basis for the sleep hormone. At the same time, this is where the first hack for you comes into play. You can influence the amount of serotonin in your body!

Your serotonin level can be pushed by a lot of sunlight, for example. This suggests that people who bask in the sun more often can fall asleep better. Some scientific studies, such as those conducted by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, show the first signs of this. [2] Further research on the subject is essential to make a reliable statement.

The circadian cycle is also a potential explanation for the emergence of winter moods. Since we often do not get enough sun or vitamin D in winter, the level of serotonin, commonly known as the feel-good and happiness hormone, is reduced.

How the sleep mechanisms work is now clarified. But what does the antagonist cortisol do during the day? The "stress hormone" has a much too bad reputation because it is involved in regulating your health and physical performance. In simple terms, it can be considered a natural caffeine shot. It makes you get out of bed in the morning, makes you awake and alert.

Take-Home-Message #2: Your body can produce melatonin from serotonin in the evening. First scientific papers show The more sunshine you get during the day, the higher your serotonin level can rise, which also correlates with the production of the sleep hormone melatonin in the evening. Therefore, try to spend your lunch break outdoors or to cycle or walk to work. This helps you to clear your head for a short time and, indirectly, to sleep better in the evening.

 

Circadianes System

4. Why sleep is so important for your health

Most people find sleep an annoying waste of time and try to save as much time as possible. Because during the day the real achievements are made and you really experience something. Do you agree with that? Then think about this: While you sleep, your body performs miracles. It's not about staying in bed as long as possible, it's about good quality sleep.

Our sleep quality can be measured, for example, on the basis of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) phases, as well as the proportion of deep sleep phases. The quality determines whether you wake up full of power or whether you wobble around overtired with edges under your eyes. Numerous studies carried out at Oxford University prove the positive effect of sufficient REM sleep on brain function, metabolism, and the immune system. [3]

But if you suffer from a deficiency, you are no longer yourself. After only 24 hours without sleep, up to 6% less glucose reaches your brain and your prefrontal cortex. This is important for thinking and decision-making processes as well as for social interaction. If you sleep too little, you become dulled and make the wrong decisions.

During sleep, the most important information of the day is sorted, stored and your brain is reset, so to speak. Without the nightly regeneration, you will never be able to perform at full capacity, because good sleep is your natural energy boost.

Data from an American sleep-tracking company showed that a lack of sleep can also have much worse physical effects in the long term. [4] Are you beginning to understand why good sleep is so important? It's good and it gets much better. Your sleep or the hormone melatonin, which is responsible for your sleep-wake cycle, can be easily "manipulated".

Take-Home-Message #3: A long-term lack of sleep can make you ill and upset your metabolism. Your thinking ability decreases and you start to make wrong decisions.


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5. Use melatonin as a natural sleep aid

To combat difficulties in falling asleep, many people resort to melatonin to shorten the time they fall asleep. Melatonin is not a sleeping pill, but a natural aid to falling asleep. Even those who have to turn night into day, i.e. work at night or suffer from jet lag after long-haul flights, often rely on melatonin as a dietary supplement.

According to current case law, individual special manufacturers in Germany are allowed to sell their melatonin preparations as dietary supplements with a daily dose of up to 1 mg, while in the USA even higher doses are freely available.

Does this make German products worse? On the contrary! Particularly exciting: A metastudy of the US elite university MIT has been able to confirm the positive effect of melatonin in low doses on sleep. [5] In addition, Prof. Richard Wurtman and other scientists and researchers examined a total of 17 studies on the subject of melatonin. The result was an incredibly important finding for every biohacker: 


Small doses of 0.3 mg to 1 mg of melatonin administered orally are particularly effective and can help to reduce the time it takes to fall asleep, thereby ensuring a good night's sleep and a better feeling in the morning. Higher doses of melatonin, on the other hand, appear to be counterproductive. 


Higher US doses go beyond the body's natural melatonin production and can even make your sleep worse. According to Prof. Wurtmann, doses of 0.3 to 1 mg are therefore the better doses. The intake of too much melatonin could cause undesirable side effects. 

The background is that the natural melatonin production starts approx. 60 minutes before going to bed, increases constantly and decreases again strongly approx. 90-180 minutes before waking up. A higher supplementation of the hormone with e.g. 5 mg speeds up this process so that one wakes up earlier and the perceived recovery suffers.

Buy 0.5 mg per capsule

Take-Home-Message #4:  The intake of melatonin as a dietary supplement is permitted in Germany according to current case law up to 1 mg per daily dose. Melatonin can reduce the time to fall asleep. 

6. Does melatonin help with jet lag?

Many people buy melatonin, the natural sleep aid because it can help relieve subjectively perceived jet lag sensations. Especially on long-haul flights and the resulting time difference or even for shift workers who often have to work at night, the normal sleep-wake rhythm gets out of step.

The consequences can be problems falling asleep, irregular eating habits and concentration problems. Jet lag can, therefore, have an effect on general performance. In order to understand more precisely how jet lag can be alleviated under certain circumstances, one must first know something about the inner clock of the human being.

The so-called circadian rhythm regulates all important processes of the body within 24 hours. Jet lag can disrupt melatonin production so that many people are awake while they normally want to sleep. Taking 1 mg of melatonin can help you fall asleep faster if your melatonin level is too low. 

7. Dosage and side effects: What should I watch out for when taking melatonin?

If you decide to buy melatonin (e.g. in the form of dietary supplements), you should pay attention to a few more things. The natural sleeping pill should always be taken about an hour before going to bed so that the melatonin can develop its full effect.

We recommend not to exceed a low melatonin dosage of up to 1 mg. As described above, the results of research indicate that especially low doses can achieve better effects than too high doses. The good thing about this natural sleep-inducing substance: If you only take up a small amount of melatonin, no side effects are to be feared.

However, if taken at the wrong time or at too high a dose, melatonin may have the opposite effect. Children and pregnant women (including those who are breastfeeding) should not take the capsules.

8. For which occupational groups is melatonin relevant?

The natural sleep-inducing agent can be taken in various forms. Melatonin is available as tablets to suck or capsules to swallow or as a practical spray. It is interesting for all those who have to struggle with an irregular sleep-wake rhythm due to their job. Especially shift workers who get into a kind of permanent jet lag due to their job are affected. These include:

  • Nurses
  • Doctors
  • Pilots
  • Stewardesses
  • Police officers
  • Taxi driver
  • Truck Drivers

Pilots and stewardesses have to work under extreme conditions on long-haul flights, for example. Especially the large time difference and the required performance during a night flight, when the body is actually adjusted to sleep, can disturb the sleep rhythm in the long run. This is also the case for another occupational group for which the intake of melatonin can be interesting.

Shift workers, such as hospital staff, not only have to cope with the night work but also with extreme stress, while always remaining fully resilient. Sufficient sleep at night is therefore elementary. Taxi drivers are also affected. If you get tired behind the wheel, you quickly risk not only your own life but also that of many others. Therefore, it is extremely important for taxi drivers to be fully efficient during the night (their "working day") and to fall asleep quickly during the day (their "night").

For all these occupational groups, who have an irregular work rhythm or have to work at night, taking melatonin can be helpful to combat sleep problems in the sense of difficulty in falling asleep. The same applies here. The small doses of 0.3 to 1 mg of melatonin are already effective and should, therefore, be considered.

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9. Where can I buy melatonin over the counter?

The purchase of melatonin tablets is possible in Germany without a prescription in the form of food containing melatonin. However, in Germany, melatonin as a drug is only available on prescription at 2 mg and only for patients with a prescription from a pharmacy. Among the over-the-counter melatonin, products are BRAINEFFECT SLEEP with melatonin. As sleep experts, we are one of the first companies to sell melatonin in Germany.

Why? We believe that 1 mg of melatonin in combination with sleep tips is the most effective way to fall asleep and therefore to get a good night's sleep. SLEEP contains 1 mg of melatonin per daily dose, plus other plant substances. This makes it one of the food supplements that can be purchased without a prescription. SLEEP is safely produced and controlled in Germany. It contains no animal ingredients. Therefore it is 100% vegan. 

BRAINEFFECT HACK: You don't want to take melatonin tablets or capsules but rather dose your sleep individually? Then our innovative BRAINEFFECT SLEEP SPRAY with melatonin is your opportunity to dose melatonin individually. The mouth spray supports you to switch off your head in the evening and to fall asleep better with melatonin. Both products are tested and on the Cologne List. Therefore, many top athletes and clubs use both products. 

Melatonin Capsules

Melatonin-Spray

10. Hack the melatonin level naturally

We now know that your melatonin level determines how long you can fall asleep and therefore how much you can sleep. In Germany, you have the possibility to take melatonin as a dietary supplement up to 1 mg per daily dose without a prescription. You can also boost your natural melatonin production in the pineal gland of your brain.

As an organic grower, we recommend that you always combine both approaches, as products are not always successful without changing your evening routines. With the following three tips you can improve your sleep and chop your melatonin.

1. Eliminate light sources and use Blueblocker

Lights out is the motto. Did you know that your skin contains light receptors that send signals to your brain? That's why it's not enough to wear a sleeping mask that covers your eyes. It is best to sleep in as dark a room as possible. Studies by Harvard University have shown that the level of melatonin in the blood can be up to 50% lower when you sleep in a bright room.

Definitely not recommendable and certainly not relaxing! You still read the latest news in bed and watch a series on your laptop? You'd better make sure that you don't expose yourself to artificial blue light for at least an hour before going to bed. The blue light is stimulating and wakes you up.

Another study by Harvard University found that devices in the bedroom that emit the blue light can disrupt the sleep-wake rhythm and reduce the number of REM phases. [6] The blue light inhibits the production of melatonin and promotes the production of cortisol.

It makes the feeling of tiredness disappear and makes sure that your sleep time increases. Don't risk falling asleep because of blue light, but use Blueblocker or just reach for a book again. You can also find out more about blue light in our sleep guide.

2. When to sleep and not how long

If you want the best quality, good sleep possible, you should make sure you go to bed early. The so-called "King's Sleep" is available between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. This is the time when the most beneficial hormones are released - in other words, the hormone melatonin is most concentrated during this time.

In research, it is assumed that the royal sleep is a natural function of nature to adapt to the rhythm of light and dark. When it gets dark on earth, our body tends to go to sleep thanks to its internal clock.

Your eyes will close and you'll get lazy. Directly after falling asleep, the release of the growth hormone somatropin is highest. It positively influences the regeneration of your body cells. The King's Sleep ensures that you will have real power again the next morning!

3. Eat smarter, sleep better

Eating and a good night's sleep are related because stomach and intestines are not only there to digest your dinner. About 30 different neurotransmitters are emitted in the intestines, about the same number as in the brain. Did you know that 95% of your hormones are produced in the intestines? That's why the digestive tract has been given the name "the second brain".

In addition to the many neurotransmitters, the intestine can produce one in particular: melatonin. And that is many times more than the brain! For an optimal production of melatonin, your intestine must be doing well and the colonization of your intestine with good intestinal bacteria is important. You can achieve this through probiotics or through the right diet.

The more natural and richer food is in vitamins, the better for the balance of your intestine and therefore for a restful sleep. Foods that contain melatonin include pistachios and cherries. However, it is also important when you eat. If we eat late and, above all, eat a lot of carbohydrates before going to bed, the insulin level rises massively.

A study by Sydney University shows that about four hours before going to sleep, large amounts of carbohydrates should no longer be eaten, otherwise there is both an increase in the time it takes to fall asleep and a reduction in REM phases. [7]

Take-Home-Message #5: Whether light, sports, food or time, there are plenty of options to improve your melatonin production. The changes are not necessarily huge. However, every small improvement can make your sleep time improve step by step. Give it a try and test sleep as the secret ingredient for more power and performance!

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11. Conclusion

Melatonin is naturally involved in your sleep and controls your day-night rhythm. It is formed from serotonin. This means that if you spend more time outdoors during the day and produce more serotonin, it will help you produce more melatonin in the evening. Your sleep quality can be measured by your REM phases.

Poor sleep and lack of sleep reduce your overall thinking ability. 1mg of melatonin per daily dose is freely available and can help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. Higher dosages can even have a negative effect on your sleep. Melatonin is especially interesting for people who have a disturbed day-night rhythm due to shift work.

12. Sources

[1] http://www.pnas.org/content/91/5/1824.short
[2] http://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2013/06/18/to-get-more-sleep-get-more-sunlight/#53d82bf61da2 
[3] http://www.fastcodesign.com/1663126/infographic-of-the-day-so-what-if-you-dont-sleep-enough 
[4] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14715839
[5] http://news.mit.edu/2005/melatonin 
[6] http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/blue-light-has-a-dark-side 
[7] http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/85/2/426.full