Is Melatonin Spray the Sleep Tight Solution?

Curated article excerpt reviewing the relatively new technology of melatonin spray, and where to get sleep spray in the market. Where to buy sprayable sleep may depend on how popular and well received the product becomes over the coming months:

Melatonin is one of the very few hormones that you can purchase in the United States without a prescription. It is considered a dietary supplement and therefore held to essentially no premarket standards of quality, safety, or efficacy. The pharmacist can’t give me the eye drops that help control my glaucoma without a prescription. The pharmacist can’t give insulin to a diabetic person without the recurring order of a doctor, to which not all people have easy access. But melatonin, which tinkers with the work of the most crucial part of your brain? It’s over there in Aisle 5. Buy as much as you like. It’s next to the caffeine pills.

In 2015, Ben Yu, who’d dropped out of Harvard to form a biotech start-up, launched a product called Sprayable Sleep, which contains melatonin. Spray it onto your skin, and it’s supposed to put you to sleep. (Sprayable Sleep is the company’s second product. Its first was the perfect complement: Sprayable Energy, or topical caffeine.)

When I spoke with Yu, he referred to melatonin not as a hormone but as a “biological signaling molecule.” I asked him whether he did this because customers might be averse to spraying themselves with a hormone. “I thought that might be a loaded word,” he agreed, “but it turns out, people don’t seem to care.”

In a sleep-deprived culture, the promise of sleep can lead people to abandon caution. In its initial crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo, Sprayable Sleep raised $409,798. (That’s 2,106 percent of what the company set out to raise, collected from nearly 5,000 people.)

Unlike melatonin pills, which are absorbed into and eliminated from the blood before the night is over, Sprayable Sleep is supposed to keep you asleep through the night, as the hormone gradually percolates through your skin and into your bloodstream. I tried it for a couple of weeks, and I did sleep, but it was tough to tell what effect the product was having: I sleep most nights. That said, I can confirm that it didn’t burn my skin. Also, that people don’t like it when you pretend you are going to spray it on them.

Melatonin supplements have been shown to make some people fall asleep more quickly, but they aren’t proven to increase the total time or quality of sleep. And of course, as with most things sold as supplements in the United States, the effects of long-term use are unknown.

What is clear is that supplement overuse can be dangerous. Melatonin is crucial to the functioning of the most finely tuned apparatuses in the body, and David Dinges is especially concerned about its use by young people. As he put it, “No child should have a melatonin supplement—or a caffeinated drink—without a doctor being involved.” Adults, he says, “at least might make informed decisions.”

Rest at: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/01/how-to-sleep/508781/

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