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Is melatonin an effective sleep aid for a 82 year old woman? She has recently had hip surgery and is having trouble getting to sleep. she does not have anymore pain

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You should ask her doctor, and her doctor should be clear about ALL the medications and supplements she is taking. Melatonin is a natural hormone that nature uses to put our brains to sleep when it's dark, and we make less of it as we age. It's a "natural" supplement in that way only, because the amount sold is far more per dose than our bodies make naturally when we follow the normal light/dark cycle. It has far fewer side effects and problem of interactions with other drugs, but in rare situations it's not a good idea, anyway, for example bipolar disorder or seizure disorder. Taking extra does not help it work, and getting too much may be one of the reasons for "winter blues", so take note if her mood gets worse instead of more rested. Just double-check with the geriatrician doctor or Nurse Practitioner.

Posted on Jul 20, 2014

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