(WHTM) — Melatonin is often referred to as the sleep hormone. So, how does it actually impact our bodies before bed?

“Melatonin is going to be triggered to be produced when there’s darkness, so our brain starts to produce it when we get that input of darkness. And then melatonin will lead to that feeling of drowsiness and sleepiness that people get, so it helps you fall asleep,” Dr. Marri Horvat of Cleaveland Clinic said.

With that in mind, people may turn to a melatonin supplement if they have trouble sleeping. But, sleep specialist Dr. Horvat urges people to talk to their doctor first. Dr. Horvat says melatonin supplements are offered over the counter in a variety of doses and the right dosage can vary from person to person.

Taking too much melatonin can even lead to a disruption in your internal clock, making it harder to fall asleep.

Dr. Horvat states that it is also important to figure out what’s behind your sleep problems before trying to fix them yourself as there could be underlying issues that need to be addressed.

“Mental health issues, sleep apnea – all of those can kind of link into it. Sometimes even just the medications that you’re taking could be contributing to your sleep problems,” Dr. Horvat said.

Dr. Horvat adds scrolling through your phone and watching TV in bed can also contribute to your sleep problems. She says people should only use the bedroom for sleep or intimacy.