The Interaction Between Melatonin and Huperzine A
People considering any supplement cannot simply consider the effects of that supplement in a vacuum. There may be unexpected interactions between supplements that the public should take into account before beginning any new regimen. Some of these may actually be positive, while others can be neutral or negative. In some cases, supplements are prescribed together in order to induce a reaction that is best achieved when they are taken together.
Melatonin is a hormone the body naturally produces to help regulate its sleep cycle (1.) The body’s melatonin production can vary depending on light levels and the time of day (1). As such, people often take melatonin supplements to address sleep disorders, whether they are short-term and situational or long-term. When taking melatonin, it is best to confirm that the melatonin itself was artificially derived as opposed to manufactured from cows, which is a disease risk (1). Melatonin does not usually cause long-term changes to the body, and the side effects associated with it are minor blood pressure fluctuations, slight reductions in body temperature, changes in dream imagery, and feelings of grogginess after sleeping (1).
Huperzine A is naturally derived from club moss and can raise acetylcholine levels in the body (3). It is used to address memory problems, whether they are the result of trauma or aging (3). Huperzine A may also be used as a defensive measure in cases where the body may be subjected to nerve damage (3). Some people use Huperzine A supplements as nootropics, enhancing their baseline learning abilities and memory despite not having any deficits in either (4).
There are some varieties of sleep medication that combine melatonin and Huperzine A (2). Essentially, the combination of supplements corrects many of the effects associated with sleep deprivation, including concentration problems. Combining both supplements makes it more likely that the supplement will get to the root of the problem. People may be unaware of what is causing their insomnia exactly, and they may have found some sleeping medications ineffective because they were insufficiently personalized.
Some people are unable to sleep due to deficiencies in melatonin, which can become much more pronounced with aging (1). People who work night shifts and sleep during the day may also have problems specifically related to melatonin levels (1). Taking melatonin supplements would help anyone deficient in melatonin for any reason, and help them sleep if that is the root of their sleeping problems. Other people may have problems sleeping due to feelings of distraction and anxiety, which Huperzine A could help address (2). Concentration problems could be generally stress related or specifically related to Restless Mind Syndrome (2). One way or another, Huperzine A could help. People who take hybrids of Huperzine A and melatonin could get the benefits of both and sleep better in the process.
As with all sleep aids, combinations of melatonin and Huperzine A are most strongly recommended for those over eighteen years of age, or in some cases, twenty-one years of age or older (2). People in sensitive populations, including children and women who are nursing, pregnant, or may become pregnant, should avoid such sleep aids (2). It is always recommended when starting any new supplement regimen to consult with your physician first, particularly to confirm that you don’t have any complicating medical conditions (2). Physicians can also help patients make sure there won’t be any interactions between their sleep aids and anything else they might be taking (2). Operating heavy machinery can be problematic with sleep aids (2).
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